Succession to the Crown Bill — Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 22nd April 2013.

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Photo of Lord James of Blackheath Lord James of Blackheath Conservative 3:45 pm, 22nd April 2013

I thank the Minister for his reply. I reassure him immediately that my concern here is not about the religion of the monarch. I gave up religion at the age of 19 when I was studying for ordination to the Church of England. I discovered that while the Catholics burnt people because they thought it released the soul to go to heaven quicker in order to plead for mercy, the Protestant church was allowing hanging, drawing and quartering on the forecourt of St Paul's Cathedral-where we all walked last week-to be able to discharge the secular crime of treason under the guise of being a religious crime against the church. At that point my faith crumbled very rapidly and was never restored.

My concern here is not primarily those factors. It is that we are putting Her Majesty in a position where we are asking her to breach the Coronation Oath, which I would not do under any circumstances. I have provided a suggestion as to how we may circumvent that by borrowing an initiative of the Duke of Wellington from 120 years ago, but none the less we need to be sure that it would work and that is my concern. If the noble Lord will answer that, I will be happy to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment 2 withdrawn.