Last week, the Queen passed Queen Victoria’s record as Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
But this royal family is haunted by the ghost of Bonnie Prince Charlie as The Act of Settlement of 1701 passed over 50 people to give the crown to Hanoverian protestant George I.
We have two different types of English law, common law made by judges and statute made by Parliament.
Statute over-rules common law and Parliament decides who the monarch should be.
The monarchy was statutory by Richard III’s reign in 1483.
The Stuarts inherited a monarchy which was already statute-based in 1603.
An Act of Parliament wipes away any previous common law rules, leaving a blank page onto which Parliament must write new rules, if the original act is ever repealed.
In 1483 Richard III usurped the rights of his six nieces, all equal co-heirs to Edward IV.
The Queen Mother was descended from one daughter of King Edward IV, and George VI from another.
In this case common law doesn’t take effect.
However you can make a strong argument that the Queen has the best claim to be monarch of anyone since Edward IV in common law.
If someone with a title had two or more daughters and no sons, the oldest girl did not automatically inherit.
All had an equal right and the title became suspended.
The two different types of laws, which some might have thought produced different results, have united into one person succeeding, in 1926, with the birth of Queen Elizabeth II.
I am sure, if the committee of privileges of the House of Lords, which decides these disputes, ever considered the matter, they would find in the Queen’s favour.
Three cheers for Elizabeth II. She is England’s longest running, and (as it turns out) rightful Queen.
Nigel F Boddy,