May 18

Royal marriage to a Canadian


Peter Phillips, the Queen's eldest grandson, and son of the Princess Royal, has married his Canadian bride Autumn Kelly in Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel on Saturday, 17 May, 2008.

Peter Phillips has spent some considerable time in Australia.

Unless otherwise indicated, the following details are from the BBC .

The bride was attended by six bridesmaids, including Peter's sister Zara Phillips, in sage green dresses by Vera Wang.  

 Her husband does not have a royal title because Princess Anne turned down the Queen's offer of honours for both her children.

The couple met in 2003 at the Montreal Grand Prix where they were both working. 

Among those watching the couple exchange vows were The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, his girlfriend Chelsy Davy, and Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton. 
 Prince William was unable to attend because he is in Kenya at the wedding of a friend.   

Princess Eugenie read Shakespeare's sonnet 116 and Patrick Kelly, the bride's half-brother, read from Chapter 3 of St Paul's Epistle to the Colossians.  

About 70 of the 300 guests flew over from Canada for the occasion.  

The service was followed by a reception and dance at Frogmore House in Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage.

 His bride, a management consultant who converted to Anglicanism, wore a dress by London designer Sassi Holford with a full veil, a tiara on loan from her mother-in-law Princess Anne, and a necklace and earrings from Mr Phillips.

….the succession….

According to the London Daily Telegraph of 1 May, 2008, Mrs Phillips decided to convert after months of receiving “pastoral advice” at Windsor.

One royal source told The Telegraph: "She was not asked to do this, she did it of her own accord."


Her decision means that Mr. Phillips remains eleventh  in the line of succession to the Thrones of the sixteen Realms, including Canada and Australia.

Under the law relating to the succession, the Act of Settlement, 1701, neither a Catholic nor a person married to a Catholic may succeed.

This law was enacted  by Parliament to entrench the settlement of the constitutional system achieved in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which they feared would be reversed by the restoration of James II or his descendants,  a fear of France and Spain as the principal Catholic powers of Europe, and the maintenance of an established  reformed national church.

None of these factors are considered of relevance today by most in the United Kingdom, and of course, they do not bear on the situation in any of the Realms.

If this law is to be changed, it is for the politicians of each of the Realms to initiate this. The British government has twice declined to adopt proposals for change in recent times, pleading on the first occasion, the pressure on parliamentary time.   

We propose to return to the issue of the Act of Settlement in a later column. Suffice to say at this time that those republican politicians in Australia who try to use it as a reason for the shredding of our constitutional system are not being honest.

They have never attempted to do what is within their grasp: initiate a process for amendment.  

This is the sort of behaviour that only lowers the public’s esteem for our politicians, which is unfair on those who try to perform their duties honestly.


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