Magazine article The Spectator

Settle the Act

Magazine article The Spectator

Settle the Act

Article excerpt

Sir: Charles Moore suggests (The Spectator s Notes, 4 April) that the best approach to the tradition of Catholics being prohibited from marrying an heir to the throne is to leave well enough alone . Yet that is not an orthodox conservative argument: Edmund Burke laid it down that in order to remain conservative, one must change.

The British monarchy has subtly evolved over centuries and decades, and has gradually introduced changes which in general have strengthened the institution. Edward VII was very unhappy with the traditional Protestant declaration monarchs were obliged to make upon accession, as it contained an unkind rigmarole excoriating the cult of the Blessed Virgin (as a happy visitor to the monks of Tepl in Marienbad, he regarded the Marian cult benignly). …

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