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Palace lists RC children in line of succession

23 August 2013

PA

Convert: Lord Nicholas Windsor and his wife, Lady Paola Windsor, at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in April 2011

Convert: Lord Nicholas Windsor and his wife, Lady Paola Windsor, at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in April 2011

BUCKINGHAM Palace has listed two Roman Catholic children in the line of succession to the British throne.

The Palace website lists the two sons of Lord Nicholas Windsor, a Roman Catholic convert, and his Croatian wife, Paola, among those who could reign over the country. Albert, aged five, and Leopold, three, are placed as 39th and 40th in line to the throne.

The line of succession was updated after the birth of Prince George of Cambridge on 22 July. He is third in line to the throne after his grandfather, Prince Charles, and his father, Prince William.

The move to include the two children comes in spite of the 1701 Act of Settlement, which prohibits Roman Catholics from either becoming or marrying a monarch.

Lord Nicholas is the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and a great-grandson of King George V. He followed his mother into the RC Church in 2001, and is now a pro-life activist, often writing and speaking publicly against abortion.

Buckingham Palace has not commented on the decision to include Lord Nicholas's sons in the line of succession.

The Daily Express reports that royal watchers have suggested that RC children may be disbarred from the line of succession only when they are considered old enough to make up their own minds about religion, possibly at confirmation. Others have insisted that the law is clear, and that anyone raised as a Roman Catholic is banned until he or she renounces their religion.

In April, the Act of Settlement was amended to allow royals to marry Roman Catholics and retain their place in the line of succession. They would relinquish their place, however, if they abandoned the Church of England.

The law was passed after the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales gave assurances that any Roman Catholic spouse would not face canonical censure if he or she failed to raise future heirs to the throne in the RC tradition.

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