Royal princess REMOVED from order of succession to the British throne because she became a Catholic


She was christened as a Lutheran two months after she was born in 1999, but has now decided to become a Catholic, thus renouncing her claim to the British throne, as the Queen is the head of the Church of England.

The line of succession to the British throne is the order in which members of the royal family would come to the throne if the reigning king or queen died. Princess Charles is the first in the line of succession.

The British royal family is tied to the Church of England, and Catholics and those who are not Protestants cannot be the British king or queen.


Good for her. Much better to have a Heavenly crown than an earthly one.


Her mother is Catholic.

She is so far down on the list of succession, I don’t even see how it matters. I think the bigger story is simply that she chose Catholicism after being baptized Lutheran. :expressionless:


As, should everything align for her to be Queen she would also become head of the Church of England, this is understandable.


Princess Alexandra of Hanover. She’s 19. That’s pretty cool. And she’s still 12th in line for Monaco.


A LOT of British royals would have to be killed for her to have had a shot to begin with…


Worth pointing out she is a very long way down the line of succession. I imagine if, say, prince George became a Catholic they would ammended the regulations.


He would step down or be removed from the line of succession. People have stepped out of the line, given up the throne, for things less than their Faith.


Amen! And besides, she has but one Queen, and her name isn’t Elizabeth!


Are Lutheran’s allowed to be Queen or King of England? Wouldn’t it be nearly as non-nonsensical to have a Lutheran as the head of the Anglicans?


King George I was a Lutheran.


I wonder… what would happen if a reigning monarch were to become Catholic? Would they de facto abdicate by making that conversion? Do they have the power, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, to declare reunification with Rome?


Just like the Queen is largely a political figurehead, I suspect she’s also a religious figurehead as well.

I wouldn’t expect her to be able to pull off that kind of unilateral move without at least, say, the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury. An Anglican can probably correct me, but it seems like Canterbury is the seat of real power within the Anglican church.

I don’t think any monarch is able?? to abdicate the throne once the coronation has taken place. You’ll notice that even with Edward VIII’s abdication in the 1930’s, he became King automatically upon the death of his father---- but he abdicated before the actual coronation ceremony took place.


Some Lutheran bodies are in full communion with the Church of England.


She resembles her grandmother a bit. :slight_smile:


I am pretty sure the monarch can abdicate even after a coronation.

As far as the Queen’s power goes, I think the monarch has the technical authority to demand the Anglican Church do certain things. Just as the monarch technically has the power to, say, dismiss the parliament and not call it back again, to appoint and dismiss a Prime Minister, etc. The Queen could do all these things technically on her own, but realistically the moment she did so she would probably be deposed, forced to abdicate, and either another member of the royal family would be crowned as the monarch, or the Brits would just say sod it all, we are going to be a Republic. So if the Queen interferred directly in the movements of the Anglican Church, she would face the same consequences or just be completely ignored.

Basically the monarch’s authority in church matters boils down to approving whomever the Anglican clergy puts forward to be appointed bishops, etc. Same goes for the civil side, the monarch is consulted, signs all the laws, and appoints all the leadership, but basically this just means the monarch does whatever Parliament wants to do. You also have to consider that the Queen is the head of the entire Anglican Communion, so any change she made would affect loads of countries.

The idea behind the monarchy today is that in some apocalyptic scenario in which some crazy people tried to take over the country or something, the monarchy could get rid of them and appoint a new parliament in defense of democracy and English law. I personally think maybe it would have been better for the monarchy if it had exercised some of its powers on occasion through the centuries on key matters so that’s it had the actual power today to do something. For example, it might have been able to step in when the Anglican Communion decided to go all in on female priests, gay marriage, gender neutral bibles, and other things contradicted by all of Christian history.

Our Anglican and/or British friends should feel free to correct me of course.


More to the point of the article, I am surprised that being Lutheran does not disqualify one from being head of the Anglican Church. I wonder if Lutheranism is a special case, or all Protestant branches are good and just Catholicism writes one off.


Sort of.
The Queen is the supreme governor of the Church of England. however in reality (as with almost everything else in British politics) she doesn’t actually wield that power. To elect a bishop, there is a convoluted process but ultimately a council of church members (bishops, clergy and laity) give two recommendations to the Prime Minister and the Queen formally nominates them.

What would happen to this process if the Monarch became a Catholic is an open question. You would have the Rule against the Monarch being Catholic up against anti-discrimination laws. My assumption is they would drop the formal nomination requirement, going through the Lords Spiritual or something.

Agree with you, @FirstFiveEighth. I don’t think there is any rule stopping the Queen from abdicating- although it hasn’t happened in our history.


It’s exclusively against Catholics, and was explicitly written to be the case in the Act of Settlement 1701 to make sure a Catholic wouldn’t be in the line of succession after the death of Queen Anne (who died in 1714).


Yes, the monarch can exercise real authority when there is a constitutional crisis. This is true in all of the Commonwealth Realms. Here in British Columbia, Canada, we had a very tight provincial election last year. No party had a clear majority. The Liberals had the most seats, but still less than half of the total, and could have formed a minority government…but the NDP and the Green Parties decided to form a coalition and together they had one more seat than the Liberals. The leader of the Liberal Party, who at the time was the sitting Premier, went to Government House and asked the Lieutenant Governor (the Queen’s representative in BC) to dissolve the Legislature and call a new election…Her Honour declined and instead appointed the leader of the NDP as Premier with the backing of the Green Party. It was a rare case, in recent local history, of the Crown exercising real power and making a real decision to ensure the continued governance of the province.

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