Now it's clear that the United Kingdom is well on its way to being the United Republic.
For those who don't avidly follow the Royal Family Channel: the Marriage Act of 1836 forbids the Prince to be married in a civil ceremony. Don't ask me why; something to do with the Church of England, I suppose. Anyway, that would make the marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles illegal, and it's not clear whether the Marriage Act of 1949 overrides that provision.
But now the Lord Chancellor, who is known to embody the law, says that the Human Rights Act of 1998 overrules everything.
Not everyone agrees, though. "The Human Rights Act 1998 does help but it is an unsatisfactory state of affairs when the legality of the marriage of the Prince of Wales has to depend on that" says Sir Nicholas Lyell QC. I'm not sure why that is; could it be that the learned gentleman is not happy about anything depending on such a dangerous bit of foreign ideology as the Human Rights Act? (Necessitated by the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Britain must adhere in order to be in the European Union.) Or would he be content with a formal Parliamentary decision on whether the Prince is or is not human?
The funny thing is that the Prince didn't like the said Act at all. The Diana-heads, who are up in arms about letting him make an honest woman of Ms. Parker-Bowles (What? Are they against Family Values?) ought to be gloating madly over his discomfiture here, but they don't seem to have figured it out. No sense of humor, I guess. Surprise.
It's none of my business out here in the colonies, but maybe it's good to see Sir Nicholas standing up for principle. After all, the Japanese gave up on the principle that the Emperor was a divine being 60 years ago, but that was under duress. No reason for the British Lion to roll over and play dead.
Note 1: If it were any of my business, I'd doubtless be a royalist, of a rather half-hearted sort. I can imagine worse Heads of State than the Queen or even the Prince. And no one can argue that Royalty are irrelevant: not if one reads the paper and has the republican notion that the ideas of The People are relevant to government. And if it's a waste of money, who will say that Britain is too poor to afford this extravagance? (Shall I compare thee to an Iraqi War?)
Note 2: The European Convention is the offspring of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Which is, to a great extent, the work of Eleanor Roosevelt. Who, with her husband, entertained the Prince's grandfather in 1936 or so at the family's estate. Though the First Lady did not entirely approve of serving hot dogs to the King of England, it is reported that a good time was had by all. And after all, if Roosevelt had not shared the Anglophilia of the American aristocracy (not vitiated by his lack of enthusiasm for defending the Empire), things would have been the worse for a whole lot of people, including the readers of this blog, if any.
Note 3: I've worked the Lord Chancellor and the Mikado into this. But I never never put a completely gratuitous Gilbert (and/or Sullivan) reference into my writing.