Skip to comments.Act Repeal Could Make Franz Herzog von Bayern New King Of England And Scotland
Posted on 04/06/2008 8:51:47 PM PDT by blam
Act repeal could make Franz Herzog von Bayern new King of England and Scotland
By Richard Alleyne and Harry de Quetteville
Last Updated: 2:48am BST 07/04/2008
Gordon Brown is considering repealing the 1701 Act of Settlement as a way of healing a historic injustice by ending the prohibition against Catholics taking the throne.
The Duke of Bavaria, with his niece Elisabeth, is a descendant of King Charles I
But doing so would have the unforeseen consequence of making a 74-year-old German aristocrat the new King of England and Scotland.
Without the Act, Franz Herzog von Bayern, the current Duke of Bavaria, would be the rightful heir to the British Crown under the Stuart line.
The bachelor, who lives alone in the vast Nymphenberg Palace in Munich, is the blood descendant of the 17th-century King Charles I.
"If it [the Act] goes then the whole Catholic line is reinstated," said Prof Daniel Szechi, a lecturer in early modern history at the University of Manchester.
"Franz becomes the rightful claimant to the throne. We would just exchange one German family for another one."
The Act was introduced as part of the power struggle between Parliament, the Christian churches and the monarchy, then dominated by the House of Stuart.
It prohibits any Roman Catholic from having access to the throne, even through marriage. Once a person marries a "Papist" they shall be "for ever incapable to inherit, possess or enjoy the Crown", it asserts.
The legislation effectively severed the Stuart line of succession, a family who favoured Catholicism, and switched it to their distant relatives the Hanoverians, from which our current Queen descends. James II, the son of King Charles, fled into exile.
The Stuarts stopped making claims to the Crown after the death of Henry Benedict Stuart (known to the Jacobites as Henry IX) in 1807, but there remains bitter feeling among many Catholics at their treatment.
The Royal Stuart Society still holds annual vigils at the bronze statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square.
The Act of Settlement's reach continues today. Prince Michael of Kent renounced his claim to the throne when he married Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, a Catholic divorcee, in 1978.
Next month Peter Phillips, 30, the eldest grandson of the Queen and 11th in line to the throne, will automatically lose his birthright by marrying Autumn Kelly, a Canadian Catholic.
advertisement The Act has recently come under attack from Church leaders and MPs, in particular Scottish MPs, as an unjustifiable discrimination.
In the face of this new pressure, the Prime Minister indicated he would consider abolishing the legislation as it was "antiquated" and discriminatory.
Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, whose brief includes constitutional affairs, said the Government was ready to consider repealing the Act, although he added that it was an extremely complicated issue.
Dr Eveline Cruikshanks, the author of The Glorious Revolution and a former president of the Royal Stuart Society, said: "They ought to repeal the Act. The language is particularly offensive to Catholics and should go."
Patrick Cracroft-Brennan, the editor of Cracroft's Peerage, said that while theoretically the Duke's claim was good, it could never be actioned because Parliament now effectively chose the monarch.
"It is a very interesting hypothesis and theoretically he is the head of the House of Stuart," he said. "But the Government effectively chooses the monarch now and it is highly unlikely to remove the Windsors from the throne."
As for the Duke of Bavaria himself, he is a reluctant heir.
The graduate in economics, who values his privacy, has always laughed off pretensions to the British crown and prefers to concentrate on his modern art collection.
Baron Marcus Bechtolsheim, the president of the administration of the Duke of Bavaria, said: "The Duke generally does not comment on this issue because he sees it as an entirely British question which does not concern him. And he regards it as a purely hypothetical issue.
"Even if this change in Britain happens, it won't change his attitude. All this interest in his opinion makes him smile because, really, he is very happy and satisfied with being the Duke of Bavaria."
Stalling for the muslims....
Let the Baron arrive in Scotland and unfurl his standard, and call for the clans to assemble; and the spirit of Braveheart and Bonnie Prince Charlie might assert itself again.
And with Sean Connery joining the forces, how could Scotland lose?
An independent Scotland will then use its offshore oil to
join Opec; and use its oil revenues to buy enough F-15s to keep the Brits at bay.
(Well, a Scot can always dream, can’t he. . . ?)
What kind of dude is the Duke? Won’t this really fry Prince Charles and Camilla? Boy, Prince William and Harry will be out in cold. Queen will be in a bind, and having to give up Buckingham Palace...moving is a b....!
Hmm. That Duke isn’t a descendant of the Hapsburgs is he?
Ye’re cawkin the claith ere the wab be i the loom.
Nymphenberg Palace ?
Best line for historical accuracy and sure to goad the current occupants of Buckingham Palace: “We would just exchange one German family for another one.”
After the turn of the 20th century and before The Great War, many in England’s royal house had only a minimal acquaintance with the English language and those that did speak English did so with a heavy German accent.
Do it! Do it! Do it! Throw Prince Charles fully onto the mercies and fortunes of Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Since all of Europe is one political entity now, is this like a rich guy from Iowa becoming the Governor of New Hampshire? What difference would it make if Great Britain is simply a region of the EU?
WOW, those pics make it slumming for him to move, don’t you think? Besides Bavaria is more beautiful than London anyday....It’s the “Nymph” en burg that makes you wonder?
Niece is nice.
Way better looking royalty then Her Lady Carmilla Apalloosa.
He’d probably make a fortune if he’d just rent out rooms.
Of course, given it’s name, it would attract dirty old men.
Ay, and we’ll never see them in Kirkcudbright!
A Scot can dream, but that sounds like a nightmare.
Besides, at the time the majority of Scots backed the Hanoverians against the Jacobites anyway, so they were complicit in the change of dynasty. Its a bit late to change their minds now!
Now I could imagine a bachelor pad for myself just like that...
(Well, a Scot can always dream, cant he. . . ?)
Just a scent of hyperbole there? Would be news to the Swiss, the Norwegians, and quite a few others.
Bismarck famously called Saxony-Colberg, "the stud farm of Europe", because of all the princes married off to European royalty.
"Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third ." - interruption by cries of Treason! - "...may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it."
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