Good morning everybody. I posted a few weeks back asking for details on certain recent royal weddings, and explained that the research was for an upcoming book. Well, The Rights & Wrongs of Royal Marriage
has just been published and is available on Amazon (The Rights and Wrongs of Royal Marriage: How the Law Has Led to Heartbreak, Farce and Confusion, and Why it Must be Changed: Amazon.co.uk: Rebecca Probert: Books
Amongst many other things, Professor Rebecca Probert explains the detailed legal background to royal marriage, shows how the rules have affected individuals and the identity of the monarchy, then examines Lord Falconer's infamous "written statement" in 2005 and concludes that his lack of proper legal understanding has left the law extremely unclear. She ends by setting out suggestions for reform to make the law certain.
The Rights & Wrongs of Royal Marriage
is one of those rare books on the royal family written by an academic who isn't out to undermine the monarchy - Professor Probert's very clear that governments over the decades have let the royal family down by refusing to look at royal marriage law, and that it would be utterly unjust for future royals to find their marriages being challenged because the implications of Lord Falconer's claims haven't been thought through. In fact, she was one of the people demanding the government pass legislation in 2005 making it sure that Charles and Camilla could marry in a civil ceremony.
Without turning this post into nothing but an advert (I'm sure people will be genuinely interested by the book's arguments), some of Professor Probert's interesting conclusions are that (i) Charles and Camilla are
validly married, but not for the reasons that Lord Falconer claimed. (ii) In 1957, Harold Macmillan consented to a cover-up after officials realised that Prince Philip could be argued to be illegitimate by a strict interpretation of statute. This, of course, makes a mockery of the law. (iii) Margaret could have married Townsend and retained her status, titles and her position in the succession
, but officials seem to have misled her by omission over that last point, a fact which previous researchers have all missed.
If anybody has any comments or questions on Professor Probert's research, I'd be delighted (as the publisher) to pass them on and give a reply.