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Succession to the Crown Bill: Possible Untoward Effects?

  • Bob Morris (a1)

This Comment asks whether, in the light of early parliamentary proceedings, the Succession to the Crown Bill risks any untoward, unintended practical consequences, and considers what, if any, may be among the longer-term, less direct implications for Church establishment in England.

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1 Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, HC Deb 28 January 2013, col 697.

2 ‘Prime Minister unveils changes to succession’, 28 October 2011, available at <>, accessed 8 February 2013.

3 Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, 11th Report 2010–2012; Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, evidence session, 9 January 2013; Daily Mail, 7 January 2013, which purported to voice concerns of the Prince of Wales but without any evident authority. See also Parliamentary proceedings on the Succession to the Crown Bill.

4 ‘Why shouldn't there be a Catholic “Supreme Governor” of the Church of England?’, Catholic Herald, 31 October 2011, <'supreme-governor'-of-the-church-of-england/>, accessed 17 January 2013. The article overlooks the significance of the requirement that the heir has also to be ‘in communion with’ the Church of England. Because no Catholic could therefore succeed to the throne under Mr Cameron's proposals, much of the article's relevant argument is vitiated.

5 See F Cranmer, ‘Succession to the Crown Bill: La Reine (ou le Prince) le veult?’, 9 January 2013, <>, accessed 17 January 2013.

6 T Gold, ‘Britain's voodoo monarchy: the succession bill puts a ludicrous spin of equality on an institution that is inherently unequal’, The Guardian, 11 January 2013.

7 HC Deb, 22 January 2013, cols 252–253.

8 P Selby, ‘Mis-establishment: locating, and re-locating, the Church of England’, Eric Symes Abbot Memorial Lecture, 10 May 2012, available at <>, accessed 7 March 2013.

10 ‘Church of England briefing – Succession to the Crown Bill’, <>, accessed 30 January 2013.

11 HC Deb, 22 January 2013, col 233.

12 ‘I really can't think why we can't have Catholics on the throne’: quoted remark from the memoirs of Lord Ashdown, noted in Blackburn, R, King and Country: monarchy and the future King Charles III (London, 2006), p 119.

13 A Brown, ‘Church of England traditionalists are running out of hiding places’, The Guardian, 18 December 2012, <>, accessed 13 January 2013.

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Ecclesiastical Law Journal
  • ISSN: 0956-618X
  • EISSN: 1751-8539
  • URL: /core/journals/ecclesiastical-law-journal
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