Coronations, the law and public opinion

24 SEP 2007

Stephen Cretney. There are surprisingly few statutory provisions governing the coronation of the sovereign. The Coronation Oath Act 1688 provides that every: 'King or Queen that shall succeed to the Crown Imperial of the Realm' shall, at the coronation, swear to govern the people according to the Statutes in Parliament agreed on and the laws and customs of the same, to cause law and justice in mercy to be executed in all his or her judgments, and to 'maintain the laws of God the true profession of the Gospel and the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law' and the legal privileges of the Bishops, the Clergy and the Churches. The Accession Declaration Act 1910 requires the monarch to 'profess, testify, and declare solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God' that he or she is 'a faithful Protestant, and will, according to the true intent of the enactments which secure the Protestant succession to the Throne of [the] Realm, uphold and maintain the said enactments to the best of [his or her] powers according to law'.

In this article Stephen Cretney considers the historical evolution of the provisions surrounding this event, and in particular those relating to the sovereign's spouse and their legal consequences. For the full article, see September [2007] Fam Law.

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