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 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,
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
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.