By Julian Mann, God & Politics in the UK
By Julian Mann, God & Politics in the UK
By John Bingham, Telegraph
Words such as “widow” removed from statutes while medieval treason laws and even rules on royal titles amended ahead of gay marriage
Men are to be banned from becoming Queen or Princess of Wales as part of an unprecedented effort to rewrite more than 700 years of law to prevent unintended consequences of gay marriage.
Even a 14th Century act declaring it high treason to have an affair with the monarch’s husband or wife is included in the sweeping redrafting exercise.
Civil servants have drawn up a list of scores of statutes and regulations dating back as far 1285 to be amended or specifically excluded when the Government’s Same-Sex Marriage Act comes into force next month.
Under proposals to be debated by MPs and Peers as early as next week, terms such as “widow” will be deleted or reworded in legislation covering topics as diverse as seamen’s pensions and London cab licences to take account of the new definition of marriage.
References to mothers, fathers, husbands and wives are also to be amended to avoid future confusion.
December 25th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
From BBC News
The Queen has reflected on the birth of her great-grandson Prince George in her traditional Christmas Day broadcast.
She said the arrival of a new baby gave people the chance to think about the future with "renewed hope".
And she had a message for new parents, saying that for them "life will never be the same again".
The Queen also talked about the 60th anniversary of her coronation, the role of the Commonwealth and next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The message, broadcast on both television and radio, was recorded earlier this month at Buckingham Palace, in the blue drawing room.
Sitting at a desk, in front of family photographs, the Queen said: "Here at home my own family is a little larger this Christmas. As so many of you will know, the arrival of a baby gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope."
By Julian Mann, Virtueonline
At the inaugural ReNew conference in Hertfordshire, England, global orthodox Anglican leader Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, former CofE Bishop of Rochester, spoke out against the heir to the UK throne, Prince Charles, for participating in multi-faith worship during a recent trip to India.
In a rare public criticism by a prominent Anglican leader of a senior member of the Royal Family for failing to uphold the supremacy of Jesus Christ, Dr Nazir-Ali said Prince Charles's participation in Hindu worship and his veneration of a Muslim Sufi 'saint' were at variance with his future role as Defender of the Protestant Christian Faith.
Dr Nazir-Ali also amused delegates at the ReNew Conference, a joint initiative between Reform and the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), with an account of how he was recently told by a revisionist at a CofE meeting: 'There is no room for someone like you in an inclusive church.'
This week's conference heard a call from senior Reform leader, the Revd Jonathan Flectcher, for AMiE to adopt the Reform Covenant in order firmly to support the biblical doctrine of male headship in the church and the family. Mr Fletcher said the Jerusalem Statement, which is currently the doctrinal basis of AMiE, is not clear on the headship issue.
The Rector of St Helen's Bishopsgate in the City of London, the Revd William Taylor, called on ReNew to make clear that none of its supporters will ever participate in indaba-style consultations about the introduction of same-sex blessings.
By Caroline Davies, Guardian
Campaigners are to attempting to launch a legal challenge to the Christian coronation of future monarchs in an attack on the most powerful symbol of the union between church and state.
The National Secular Society (NSS) has instructed lawyers to investigate challenging the ancient religious rite under human rights legislation.
Keith Porteous Wood, the NSS executive director, said: "The country has changed out of all recognition since the last coronation and we should now be devising an investiture ceremony for the next head of state everyone can feel part of.
"A non-religious ceremony allows everybody to feel equally valued, and there is no reason that it should lack pomp or colourful ceremony simply because it is not religious, as with the ceremonies that take place in France or the US. "It is no longer appropriate to install the head of state in a religious service of one Christian denomination which – on a normal Sunday – less than 2% of the population attend."
Lawyers at Leigh Day, a firm of solicitors specialising in human rights, and Matrix chambers, have been instructed, he said. The NSS expects the challenge to focus on article 9 of the European convention on human rights, on the grounds that allowing the Church of England to perform such a ceremony limits the rights of conscience of the many people who do not subscribe to its beliefs, and article 14, which prohibits discrimination of any kind.
Arun Arora, the director of communications at the Church of England, said: "This flawed publicity stunt is mired in misunderstanding and confusion. The invocation of human rights legislation risks undermining the perception of vital laws purely for partisan purposes.
"To politicise the coronation in this way is a misguided and misjudged act by a campaign group of less than 10,000 members."
By Martin Robinson and Mark Duell, Mailonline
Prince George was today christened as the world was given only its second public glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's young son.
Outside St James's Palace enthusiastic crowds gathered to see the heir to the throne, who was carried by his beaming parents on a joyful occasion.
The three-month-old prince, wearing a long christening robe, joined the handful of relatives at the ceremony – described as an 'intimate family affair'.
Only five senior royals, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry saw the heir to the throne baptised.
The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, in the little-known Chapel Royal this afternoon.
See photos and videos here
From BBC News
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he hopes the "extraordinary" baptism of Prince George will inspire others to seek the same ceremony.
The Most Rev Justin Welby will perform the christening at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace on Wednesday.
In a YouTube film released ahead of the service, the archbishop said he hoped people would not view baptism as only for a future king or "special people".
"All babies are unbelievably special, not only royal babies," he said.
The prince, who was born on 22 July at St Mary's Hospital in London, is the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and is third in line to the throne.
His baptism, described by the Archbishop of Canterbury as "hugely important", will take place at 15:00 BST.
October 18th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
By Rachel Elbaum, Today News
Prince George's Oct. 23 christening, the ceremony that marks a baby’s entrance into the Church of England, will be a “small, private, personal family affair,” Kensington Palace told TODAY.com.
He doesn't realize it yet, but Prince George's Oct. 23 christening is loaded with significance for him. As Britain's future king, he would head the Church of England.
But it'll be anything but ordinary. We'll learn which six godparents the royal couple chose for their baby boy, for one, and the guest list promises to be sparkling.
Here are six things to know about the royal baby's big church debut.
1. The venue is special to Will: The Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace is not traditionally associated with royal christenings. Previous generations of royals have held the event at Buckingham Palace, where Princes Charles and William were christened in the Music Room and the queen and her sister were baptized in a private chapel that was destroyed during World War II.
“The Chapel Royal is small, intimate and has been redone in glorious fashion,” Sally Bedell Smith, author of “Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch,” told TODAY.com.
“Diana’s body was kept there until her funeral, and William spent a lot of time in St. James’s Palace after his parents split, so I think there are some historic as well as personal and sentimental reasons to hold the christening there.”
September 27th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
From BBC News
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced details of their son's christening.
Prince George will be christened on Wednesday 23 October at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will perform the christening.
The prince, who was born on 22 July at St Mary's Hospital in London, is third in line to the throne held by his great-grandmother.
Earlier, Kensington Palace announced that a new coat of arms had been chosen to represent the duke and duchess as a married couple.
The conjugal coat of arms, approved by the Queen earlier this year, features separate shields to represent the royal husband and wife.
By Richard Palmer, Daily Express
BUCKINGHAM Palace has listed two Roman Catholics in the line of succession in apparent contravention of the law.
The Church of England has given permission for testing on bones believed to be those of King Alfred the Great and his family.
Hyde900, which was set up in 2010 to mark the 900th anniversary of the founding of Hyde Abbey, Alfred's burial place, expects to start work soon, the BBC reported. Rosemary Burns, a member of the group's executive committee, said tests will include DNA, carbon dating, and isotope and oxygen testing.
Alfred, the only English king to be known as "the great," died in 899 at 50, after 28 years as king of the West Saxons. He was buried first at the Old Minster in Winchester and then, about 200 years later, his body and those of his wife and children were transferred to Hyde Abbey, north of the city.
The bones to be tested, including five skulls, were exhumed at St. Bartholomew's Church in Winchester in March. Experts say the royal remains may have been re-buried there after a prison was built on the Hyde site.
August 9th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
By Gary Isbell, TFP
As the world delights with its first glimpse of the British Monarchy’s new heir, naturally no one is more proud and interested than the British. But they are not the only ones who care about the new Royal; Americans are running a close second. We fought a war with Britain, declared our independence and explicitly rejected all titles of aristocracy in our constitution. But now we care about who is third in line for the throne?
One might ask if this interest is the fruit of nurture or nature, and it certainly does not appear to be nurture, as Americans in general have not been educated to understand what a monarchy is all about. So why this profound and lively interest in the new prince?
There is something to be said for the notion that all men implicitly know that we are all equal in our essence and unequal in our accidents. It is through our accidents that men distinguish themselves from one another, and that royalty does, well…royally. Some might argue the Marxist line that all monarchs are nothing more than selfish strongmen who imposed their will upon the oppressed proletariat. While this is true of Socialist dictators, it does not match the historical record regarding most monarchies. What really characterizes a monarch is an ability to personify his people as a symbol.
July 31st, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
The burial of a king is usually a significant event: full of pomp and pageantry, ritual and ceremony. And the same will be true when England buries its king in Leicester Cathedral in the coming months – despite the fact that the king in question, Richard III, died more than 500 years ago and that his first burial in what was then the church of the Greyfriars' monastery was anything-but ceremonial.
History records Richard III as a child-killing despot; but his reputation as the killer of the "Princes in the Tower" has more to do with rumour, gossip and Shakespeare than any accurate historical account.
His two-year reign came during a turbulent period in English history. When Edward IV died in 1483, his 12-year-old son should have inherited the throne as Edward V. In view of the young king's age, Richard was named Lord Protector. He moved the young king to the Tower of London, which was a royal palace as well as a prison, along with Edward V's younger brother, also called Richard.
July 28th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
By Patrick Hennessy, Telegraph
Three quarters of people believe that the newborn Prince George will one day accede to the throne to which he is third in line, the ComRes survey for The Sunday Telegraph found.
Just 9 per cent of those questioned think that he will not become king because Britain will have become a republic — whereas a poll in 2011 found that a quarter of people expected a republic to emerge within 50 years.
Even among 18 to 24-year-olds, the age group most likely to hold republican views, today’s poll shows a solid 69 per cent believe that Prince George will one day become king.
The poll suggests that the majority of the country sees no benefit in republicanism, with some two thirds of those polled (66 per cent) thinking that Britain is better off as a monarchy.
Only 17 per cent wanted a republic instead.
By Tim Walker, Telegraph
David Cameron told gay people at a Downing Street reception at that he planned to thank the Queen 'personally' for giving her assent to the same-sex marriage bill.
Although the Queen could hardly not have given her assent to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, David Cameron promised guests at a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender reception in Downing Street on Wednesday that he intended to thank her “personally” for signing it at his audience with her that evening.
“I had a constituent with a straight son and a gay daughter come to see me and she said how delighted she was that she would now be able to attend both their weddings,” the Prime Minister said on the day that the Act became law.
MPs including the Conservatives Greg Barker and Crispin Blunt heard Cameron praise Peter Tatchell, who has been campaigning for the law to be changed since 1992, but the gay rights activist was conspicuous by his absence.
Tatchell tells Mandrake that he believes his invitation to the event was “vetoed”, but then Tony Blair and Gordon Brown never had him to an LGBT event at No 10, either.
By Dylan Mattews, Washington Post (Hat Tip: David Lindsay)
That constraint is not present for presidents. And sure enough, presidents meddle in the affairs of the state with greater regularity than do monarchs.
By Joanna Bogle, MercatorNet
So it’s a boy, which is rather a relief. I was ready to get all cross and annoyed at the large amounts of pomposity that were to be expended on talking about sex-equality and why the deep-rooted heritage of centuries should be twisted and mangled to ensure that male primogeniture should cease.
A boy, a prince, and a future king – born just a year short of a century after the Great War which toppled thrones across Europe and ushered in an era of social change on large scale. No prince born in Europe in 1913 could have envisaged the way things were going to be as he grew up. Today’s baby prince will have a future we cannot possibly know or predict.
Just as well, because the Britain into which he has been born is one with enough challenges. He is unusual, and greatly blessed, in having two parents who are married to each other. Marriage – that is, true marriage, a man and a woman united for a lifetime – is becoming a minority lifestyle in today’s Britain, and the consequences of this are miserable for the many children who are forced to grow up amid a confusing set of adults all busy with their own desires and relationships. A typical childhood in modern Britain involves being born to unmarried parents, then one of the parents marrying, then that marriage breaking up, then a new relationship being formed…and may well also include grandparents divorcing, and the arrival of various odd quasi-uncles and aunts as sundry relations produce live-in partners at various Christmases and family events…
From The Church of England website
God our Creator,
who knows each of us by name
and loves us from all eternity:
we give you thanks for new life and human love.
Bless William and Catherine
as they welcome their son into the world.
Give them patience and wisdom
to cherish and love him as he grows.
Surround the family with the light of hope and the warmth of your love today and always; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
July 22nd, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
by Caroline Davies, Guardian
Doubts over whether all 15 countries with the Queen as head of state would change their laws on primogeniture
By Melanie Hall, Telegraph
A failure by Commonwealth states to change the primogeniture rule could lead to a first-born daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge becoming monarch in the UK – but a later son being king in other countries.
Many Commonwealth countries have failed to agree to the new law, which would allow a first-born daughter of Kate and William becoming the monarch even if they later have a son.
Without this agreement, a situation could arise where a first-born daughter becomes queen in Britain and some Commonwealth realms but, in countries where the law has not been given assent, a younger brother becomes king – creating rival monarchs.
To avoid the prospect of Britain having different sovereigns in different countries, the Succession to the Crown Act has to be accepted in each of the 15 Commonwealth realms where the Queen is head of state. But just three of the 15 have so far given assent.
The delay to the new rules, championed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, has caused such concern that Lord Tankerness, a member of the House of Lords and a barrister, was sent in May on a tour of some of the realms to urge them to bring in the change and offer advice on how they might do so.
The act will come into force only once the law is altered, but it will be backdated to include any children born after October 2011, the date when Commonwealth leaders first agreed to end the primogeniture rule.