The Liberal Democrats are seeking reform to the monarchy law. Notably, these changes involve the possibility for an heir to the throne to marry a Catholic and to end discrimination against female heirs. These changes were suggested due to the change in the social environment. The current laws have been in existence for over 300 years, but there are still many proponents to the laws. The changes, however, still require that the monarch be a Protestant.
Now, I understand, that there may be a conflict of interest if the monarch is a Catholic, considering what happened in the Tudor days. Nevertheless, I would hope that the law specifically states that the monarch should be Church of England. As we have seen with the religious changes, there are now hundreds of Protestant denominations. Are the English willing to have a Baptist or a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness as their religious head? I would think a Catholic would be preferable.
What I fail to understand is why a Catholic spouse should cause so much conflict. Are they afraid this spouse will “influence” the monarch? Will there be concerns about where loyalties will lie? Do they fear that the offspring of such an alliance will be required to be raised Catholic? (This may be a legitimate concern if the couple wishes to marry in the Catholic Church.) There was a time, not long ago, when it seemed there may be a reconciliation between Rome and England. The two co-exist quite peaceably, so why can it not be so in the monarchy?
As a female, I would also like to see a change in the discrimination laws against females. The longest reigning monarchs have been females (Victoria, Elizabeth II, Elizabeth I). Their reigns have produced many important changes in English history. Traditional male precedence seems to ignore these facts. But, if this change does occur, will it also change hereditary rules amongst the peerage? Will such a circumstance prevent the laws from being changed? Interesting. I am anticipating the final result.