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  #441  
Old 12-05-2008, 10:53 PM
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As I said, for a number of reasons it would have been difficult for them to do it and inadvisable for them to try.

That's not the same as "it would have been impossible."

But as long as your entire point is that in fact, if not in theory, a CofE wedding wouldn't have been the appropriate thing to do, and as long as hardly anyone, if anyone at all, is disagreeing, what are we actually arguing about?
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  #442  
Old 12-05-2008, 11:22 PM
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I'm not trying to argue with you or anyone, I'm just saying that had there been the possibility of having a Cof E wedding without major difficulty, they would have done so. It's frustrating when people say that they could have done so but chose to have a civil ceremony, breaking royal prescedent (not to mention the whole Royals forbidden civil ceremonies issue), basically on a whim. I do also think that if, as you and I agree, the whole remarriage to the person who was a factor in the divorce was the issue, it could rear it's head at Coronation time, for the same eclesiastical reasons. You will also please notice, that at no time have I brought the first wife into the discusion, as others have. I will however say, that I do not believe that this marriage could have ever taken place if either QEQM or The Princess Margaret were alive. For the QEQM, the only reason that she and her daughter were on the throne was because Edward VIII was catragorically not allowed to marry his divorced mistress. The Princess Margaret was instructed by QEII, that if she chose to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend (the innocent party in his divorce) that Margaret would have to give up her place in the succession (then 4th) and live abroad, receiving no $ from the civil list. To be perfectly honest with you, I dont understand why the rules were bent into a corkscrew for Charles and Camilla.
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  #443  
Old 12-06-2008, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by scooter View Post
I'm not trying to argue with you or anyone, I'm just saying that had there been the possibility of having a Cof E wedding without major difficulty, they would have done so. It's frustrating when people say that they could have done so but chose to have a civil ceremony, breaking royal prescedent (not to mention the whole Royals forbidden civil ceremonies issue), basically on a whim.
I agree with at least some of this. I think that while it would have probably been possible, it would for a lot of reasons been both difficult and highly unadvisable. A church wedding in Scotland might have been contrived, but I presume they had their reasons for not doing that.

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I do also think that if, as you and I agree, the whole remarriage to the person who was a factor in the divorce was the issue, it could rear it's head at Coronation time, for the same eclesiastical reasons.
I really doubt it. As I said before, if the Church tries to undermine the Head of State like that, the almost certain outcome would be disestablishment of the Church, not abdication of the King. While there's been a long tradition in the Church of England of not permitting remarriage of divorcees, which has only recently started to be relaxed, there's also a long tradition of crowning monarchs with some very shady pasts. It's one thing for the Church to weigh in on the morality of marriage and remarriage; it's an entirely different thing for the Church to start making conditions for accepting a particular person as Head of State.

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You will also please notice, that at no time have I brought the first wife into the discusion, as others have. I will however say, that I do not believe that this marriage could have ever taken place if either QEQM or The Princess Margaret were alive. For the QEQM, the only reason that she and her daughter were on the throne was because Edward VIII was catragorically not allowed to marry his divorced mistress. The Princess Margaret was instructed by QEII, that if she chose to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend (the innocent party in his divorce) that Margaret would have to give up her place in the succession (then 4th) and live abroad, receiving no $ from the civil list. To be perfectly honest with you, I dont understand why the rules were bent into a corkscrew for Charles and Camilla.
Part of it is simply that divorce doesn't have the stigma now that it did during the Edward-Wallis affair or even when Margaret and Townsend were wanting to marry. I think part of it is also that these days it's more widely believed than it used to be that Princess Margaret was treated with appalling and quite unnecessary cruelty in the attempt by the Establishment to prevent her going down the same road that Edward and Wallis did, and that something should have been worked out to allow her to retain her position at least at some level while being able to marry him. Nowadays that needless cruelty is the more recent precedent, and most people would find it distasteful for the Establishment (full of remarried divorcees itself) to moralise to Charles and Camilla about a situation which wasn't entirely of their own making in the first place.

My personal opinion is that the Queen Mother was a thorough-going hypocrite, and a mean-spirited one at that, over the Edward-Wallis affair, and I wish the Queen had told her to keep her antediluvian attitudes to herself and just live with the fact that Charles and Camilla were getting married. The Queen spent far too much of her life under her mother's thumb.
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  #444  
Old 12-06-2008, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter View Post
For the QEQM, the only reason that she and her daughter were on the throne was because Edward VIII was catragorically not allowed to marry his divorced mistress.
For the Queen Mum maybe but as Edward and Wallis never had children of their own Elizabeth II would have become Queen eventually anyway - in 1972 instead of 1952, unless Edward was so truly unsuitable that he cause a revolution to overthrow the throne (but I don't think he would have done that).
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  #445  
Old 12-06-2008, 03:47 PM
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Charles and Camilla's situation is entirely different than the one faced by Edward and Wallis in 1936. Charles is not yet King and Camilla has signaled her desire to be a Princess, and not Queen, when he succeeds his mother as The Sovereign. Whether this will, in fact, come to pass remains to be seen, but they are already married and she shares all of her husband's titles and styles as HRH The Princess Charles, Duchess of Cornwall and Rothesay.
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  #446  
Old 12-06-2008, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by branchg View Post
Whether this will, in fact, come to pass remains to be seen, but they are already married and she shares all of her husband's titles and styles as HRH The Princess Charles, Duchess of Cornwall and Rothesay.
Not to forget Princess of Wales, actual but unused by choice.
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  #447  
Old 12-07-2008, 10:44 AM
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I just found an article on another forum which was the news report right after Charles and Diana separated. It appears that Charles' future position as Head of the Church of England would have been compromised even by a divorce, regardless of how the divorce came about.

Charles and Diana to separate | 1990-1999 | Guardian Century

So it seems that the Church of England was already making concessions before Charles married Camilla, possibly because of the changing attitudes towards the divorce and the fact that 3 of the Queen's children went through divorce.
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  #448  
Old 12-07-2008, 04:22 PM
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I think the fact that this is in the Guardian - an outright republican paper has to be considered.

I notice that it had Charles moving in with his grandmother - who lived for another 9+ years. The article said he was moving to Clarence House.

The church was moving with the times and really couldn't have a problem with a divorced king seeing as it was founded by a divorced king and he later divorced a second time - not to mention executing two other wives. I think that it was more public perception based on the events on 1936 rather than the actual facts in relation to the church that was the issue - more would the people accept a divorced Charles considering who the wife was and how would people react to that and then how would the church react. Once Diana died these issues largely went away.
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  #449  
Old 12-08-2008, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by branchg View Post
Charles and Camilla's situation is entirely different than the one faced by Edward and Wallis in 1936.
You said it!

With the benefit of 20 20 hindisght we all tend to forget that there has been a quantum leap in social behavior since 1936.

Those "fair-minded" people who rail against to inequities of that era are using the social yardstick of the 21st Century to measure the difference. It does not, and can not work.

In 1936 Wallis was seen as, quite frankly, a whore at worst or a mistress at best. Neither being a suitable Queen. In an era where divorce was still a scandal, Wallis had managed a scandalous two! It was also common knowledge among the social circle in which they moved that she had other lovers both before and during her relationship with Edward.

Decades later you only have to look at the "scandalous" divorce of Princess Diana's parents with it's subsequent "banishment" of her mother to see that it was still inequitable and unfair. But, between then and now, the law has finally caught up with reality (OK, so not Coronation Street reality but llife in the 21st century).

Divorce is unfortunately the reality of the times in which we live. Trying to selectively resurrect the cruel and unfair practices of the past to justify a personal opinion in the 21st century is hypocritcal. If you don't like the people concerned, fine! But trying to say their marriage is invalid is a little to "out there" to be taken seriously.
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  #450  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:01 AM
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Bertie and Marg, I agree with you for the most part. However, I was wondering what could have been in the Church doctrines that would have prevented a divorced King from taking the throne.
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  #451  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:14 AM
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Bertie and Marg, I agree with you for the most part. However, I was wondering what could have been in the Church doctrines that would have prevented a divorced King from taking the throne.
I don't think there is anything - it's unlikely Henry VIII. would have allowed such a doctrine. There was excommunication in the Catholic doctrines which could have prevented it -maybe, but I don't see that either the Catholic or the Anglican church held such a politically controlling position in a country after the Early Middle Ages (Canossa et al.).
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  #452  
Old 12-08-2008, 02:03 PM
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There's nothing that would prevent a divorced or even remarried person taking the throne as far as I know. George I was divorced and had imprisoned his wife and was living openly with a mistress when he showed up in England.
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  #453  
Old 12-08-2008, 09:17 PM
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Thanks Jo and Elspeth.

I tried to find another article published when the separation was announced and I couldn't find anything to compare it to. I just thought it strange that the Guardian would mention some barrier to a divorced Charles becoming King if there wasn't something on the books no matter how innocuous.

Is it really a republican paper?
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  #454  
Old 12-08-2008, 09:47 PM
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Constitutionally, the Crown is compelled to accept the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. If the Government signals opposition to The Sovereign's activities, whether personal or government related, The Sovereign must act accordingly.

This is the basis of a constitutional monarchy in which The Sovereign reigns, but does not rule. If Edward VIII hadn't voluntarily abdicated the throne, Parliament would have passed legislation removing him as King after the Government resigned in protest. He had no choice but to step down.
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  #455  
Old 12-08-2008, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARG View Post
You said it!

With the benefit of 20 20 hindisght we all tend to forget that there has been a quantum leap in social behavior since 1936.

Those "fair-minded" people who rail against to inequities of that era are using the social yardstick of the 21st Century to measure the difference. It does not, and can not work.

In 1936 Wallis was seen as, quite frankly, a whore at worst or a mistress at best. Neither being a suitable Queen. In an era where divorce was still a scandal, Wallis had managed a scandalous two! It was also common knowledge among the social circle in which they moved that she had other lovers both before and during her relationship with Edward.

Decades later you only have to look at the "scandalous" divorce of Princess Diana's parents with it's subsequent "banishment" of her mother to see that it was still inequitable and unfair. But, between then and now, the law has finally caught up with reality (OK, so not Coronation Street reality but llife in the 21st century).

Divorce is unfortunately the reality of the times in which we live. Trying to selectively resurrect the cruel and unfair practices of the past to justify a personal opinion in the 21st century is hypocritcal. If you don't like the people concerned, fine! But trying to say their marriage is invalid is a little to "out there" to be taken seriously.
It hasnt been quite the quantum leap you describe. There were and remain many people who view Camilla the exact way that you describe Wallis and for exactly the same reasons, with the exception of it being one husband instead of two. On the other hand, Wallis was not famous for saying 'Your Great Grandfather', etc. Nor did Wallis come between Edward VIII and his Queen, only of course because he didnt have one... I am not selectively resurrecting anything. I am pointing out that in the exact same situation, in Charles' family in the last two generations,his Great Uncle, who was already King, was not permitted to marry 'the woman he loved' in the same situation. He was required to abdicate. His Aunt The Princess Margaret was also told she would have to give up her place in the succession and any income from the civil list, should she chose to marry her divorced lover . This is not something I am 'resurrecting'. It's called History and Precedent, something the BRF is loathe to disrupt. This is the same reason I find the 'They chose to have a civil marriage' argument unlikely.
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  #456  
Old 12-09-2008, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by scooter View Post
This is not something I am 'resurrecting'. It's called History and Precedent, something the BRF is loathe to disrupt. This is the same reason I find the 'They chose to have a civil marriage' argument unlikely.
They may have but, the marriage is legal and binding under the law of the land and, shoud anyone be stupid enough to create a stir about the legality of their marriage, there are a very large number of fellow citizens who would take issue with the fact that by extension, their own marriages were null and void and, in many cases, their children illigetimate!

As to "the third person in the marriage", I find myself, somewhat against type, believing Charles when he said he and Camilla resumed a relationship after the marriage was irritreavably broken down. That being the case, there was not "third person" in the marriage, but there was a very astute and vindictive woman on screen in the Panorama interview.

For me the heavy black eyeliner was ever so slightly OTT, as was her part in the breakup of the marriage of Will Carling.

"Let he who is whithout sin cast the first stone". I don't know about you, but I have yet to meet a sinless person.
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  #457  
Old 12-09-2008, 06:37 AM
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This is not something I am 'resurrecting'. It's called History and Precedent, something the BRF is loathe to disrupt. This is the same reason I find the 'They chose to have a civil marriage' argument unlikely.
I think the British Royal Family paid a personal price for the decisions made regarding Edward and Wallis and then later Margaret and that may have led to the Queen softening some of her decisions later. Edward's abdication put a lot of pressure on the family and a lot of responsibility on his younger brother, George VI, who was always nervous and stammered when he was under a lot of pressure. Taking the throne under those circumstances was putting him in the most high pressure situation imaginable. Also banishing the oldest son of a family effectively from the rest of the family and his native country for the rest of his life had to have been disruptive on the family in general. Princess Alice was close to her brother; both Elizabeth and Margaret were fond of their Uncle David.

Margaret also didn't handle not being able to marry Peter Townshend well. She spent the rest of the 50s rather aimlessly and then married out of a fit of spite when Townshend remarried. That marriage ended up a disaster. The Queen would have seen the effects on Margaret firsthand and since the sisters were close, I think she allowed Margaret to be the first to divorce precisely because she saw the effects that the previous decision had had on her sister.

The precedent for royals divorcing and being allowed to keep their titles started with Princess Margaret. The precedent for Charles' and Camilla's marriage was set when Princess Anne was allowed to marry the man she had been exchanging love letters to while she had been married to her first husband. So the Royal Family had one previous similar marriage. The rules were already relaxing before their marriage.
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  #458  
Old 12-09-2008, 07:39 AM
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But to me, the biggest point is that social norms changed very considerably through the 20th century, to the point where divorce was no longer seen by the vast majority of Britons as anything other than unfortunate and sad, but certainly not one to makeone a social pariah. Lets not forget, in the UK, about 25-30% of children today are born out of wedlock. Unfrotunate as tha may see to some of us, that is the reality of scoiety today. The royal family, its various trials and tribulations, and its stance on moral issues only reflects social mores today - and that is somethign we are largely comfortable with. I have often wondered why some peope are keen to use a different moral code of conduct for themselves, and another for the royal family or people in public life. Even the CoE has softened its position on issues such as divorce and remarriage, IMO in its own tacit admission of current day society. No rules were being bent for C&C - British society today comfortably accepts divorce and remarriage!
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  #459  
Old 12-09-2008, 08:15 AM
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It hasnt been quite the quantum leap you describe. There were and remain many people who view Camilla the exact way that you describe Wallis and for exactly the same reasons, with the exception of it being one husband instead of two. On the other hand, Wallis was not famous for saying 'Your Great Grandfather', etc. Nor did Wallis come between Edward VIII and his Queen, only of course because he didnt have one... I am not selectively resurrecting anything. I am pointing out that in the exact same situation, in Charles' family in the last two generations,his Great Uncle, who was already King, was not permitted to marry 'the woman he loved' in the same situation. He was required to abdicate. His Aunt The Princess Margaret was also told she would have to give up her place in the succession and any income from the civil list, should she chose to marry her divorced lover . This is not something I am 'resurrecting'. It's called History and Precedent, something the BRF is loathe to disrupt. This is the same reason I find the 'They chose to have a civil marriage' argument unlikely.
I find this a bit off-topic, as we are discussing the fact IMHO fi the marriage of Charles and Camilla could be illegal because they did not marry in a church but a civil wedding. I understand it has been pointed out that in the Uk there are two possibilities of getting legally married: in a CoE/CoS wedding or in a civil wedding at the registry office. (It's different for example in Germany, only civil weddings are considered legally binding here).
Charles and Camilla chose the civil wedding because of reasons unknown to us. Speculation about their reasoning does not help to answer the question: is this way to get married legally binding? The problem that arises is that according to the wording of the Act which makes civil weddings legal this is not a possibility for members of the Royal family. But when it comes to laws, it is necessary to look into all their details to see if they are according to the main principles of law valid in a country. If not, these articles are not legally binding. As the exception of a group of people due to the circumstances of their birth from rights accorded to all others in the country is illegal under the main principle of "equality" in the EU-law about Human Rights which is valid in the Uk, the laws barring Charles from getting married in a civil wedding are void. Thus, Charles and Camilla are legally married.

The question if they could have married in church or not is absolutely of no juridical interest to Camilla's legal position as wife of The Prince of Wales.

As for the question about Charles' accession to the throne as a divorcee:
the law in the Uk has two requirements for a man or woman to become king or queen. He or she must be the heir of the souverain and be alive in the moment the predecessor dies. Charles is the heir of HM Queen Elizabeth the Second and we'll see if he survives his mother for more than a second. That sounds laughable but it's important in any case where an inheritance is involved. If two persons die for example in the same minute because of an accident but person One dies at 2:01:01 and person Two dies at 2:01:02 then person Two was for a second owner of person One's bequest if that is the line of succession.

In the law of the UK when it comes to the throne this is given by the fact that there is no interregnum. The moment the souverain dies, the heir becomes the next souverain. This may sound unimportant but it was discussed after queen Victoria's accession to the throne: what would have been if the widowed queen Adelaide had been pregnant at the time of her husband's death? As the law of the UK only accords rights to people born, the late king's unborn child would not have been his heir. As there is no interregnum the moment William IV. died, his heiress became queen. Okay, Queen Adelaide was not pregnant, so in the end this was a more or less theoretical discussion by the experts but it made the constitutional position on the acccession to the throne quite clear.

So: Charles and Camilla are legally married and Charles will be king if he is alive when his mother dies.
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  #460  
Old 12-09-2008, 08:28 AM
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Great writing and explaning the whole situation Jo. I totally agree.
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