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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureRoyalty · 1 decade ago

Help!!! I need a link to a source that says in the Act of Settlement an heir to the throne can't...?

That an heir to the British throne can't marry a divorced person and not abdicate or lose his or her rights?

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Act of Settlement only refers to the line of succession and eliminates Roman Catholics or the spouse of a Roman Catholic from inheriting the throne. It does not address divorced persons.

    A large part of the animosity towards Wallis Simpson when Edward VIII became serious about her was that she was not only currently married, but had been divorced once before. To marry Edward, she would have to obtain a second divorce. At the time, divorce rules under the Church of England were almost as strict as under the Catholic Church -- you could obtain a divorce, but were still considered married in the eyes of the church. Therefore, as the monarch is considered the head of the church (thanks to Henry VIII), he was considered to be cavorting with a married woman -- a big no-no for someone who is supposed to be an icon of morality and a model of English propriety (never mind that they seldom are!) Plus, she was American -- another source of distaste :-) .

    The Church of England's rules have become considerably more lax in the last 80 years when it comes to divorce, etc. and as a result, a monarch could now be married to a divorced woman and still be considered a member in good standing of the Church.

    It has nothing to do with the Act of Settlement.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Act of Settlement does not indicate that an heir to the throne cannot marry a divorced person. The line of succession to the British Throne is an ordered list of the people in line to succeed to the throne of the United Kingdom. The succession is regulated by the Act of Settlement 1701, which limits it to the heirs of the Electress Sophia of Hanover, as determined by male-preference primogeniture, religion, and legitimate birth:

    - A person is always immediately followed in the succession by his or her own legitimate descendants (his or her "line"). Birth order and gender matter: older sons (and their lines) come before younger sons (and theirs); a person's sons (and their lines), irrespective of age, all come before his or her daughters (and their lines).

    - The monarch must be a Protestant at time of accession, and enter into communion with the Church of England after accession.

    - Anyone who is Roman Catholic, becomes Roman Catholic, or marries a Roman Catholic is permanently excluded from the succession.

    - A person born to parents who are not married to each other at the time of birth is not included in the line of succession. The subsequent marriage of the parents does not alter this.

    Read more about the Act of Settlement of 1701 at

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    "The succession to the throne is regulated not only through descent, but also by Parliamentary statute.

    The order of succession is the sequence of members of the Royal Family in the order in which they stand in line to the throne.

    The basis for the succession was determined in the constitutional developments of the seventeenth century, which culminated in the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Act of Settlement (1701).

    When James II fled the country in 1688, Parliament held that he had 'abdicated the government' and that the throne was vacant. The throne was then offered, not to James's young son, but to his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, as joint rulers.

    It therefore came to be established not only that the Sovereign rules through Parliament, but that the succession to the throne can be regulated by Parliament, and that a Sovereign can be deprived of his title through misgovernment.

    The succession to the throne is regulated not only through descent, but also by statute; the Act of Settlement confirmed that it was for Parliament to determine the title to the throne.

    The Act laid down that only Protestant descendants of Princess Sophia - the Electress of Hanover and granddaughter of James I - are eligible to succeed. Subsequent Acts have confirmed this.

    Parliament, under the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement, also laid down various conditions which the Sovereign must meet. A Roman Catholic is specifically excluded from succession to the throne; nor may the Sovereign marry a Roman Catholic.

    The Sovereign must, in addition, be in communion with the Church of England and must swear to preserve the established Church of England and the established Church of Scotland. The Sovereign must also promise to uphold the Protestant succession."

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