March 24, 2005
No comment other than this is a piece to enjoy for the quality of the writing:
As far as I can establish, only one legal technicality distinguishes a
Queen Consort from the rest of her husband's subjects. She has no
formal executive or constitutional powers of any description. The one
legal difference between her and the wives of other men is that her
life and chastity are protected by the law against treason. The idea of
this, of course, is to prevent any interference with the succession to
the throne. I will not call it a privilege, because the downside of
having her chastity protected by law is that a Queen Consort may
herself be found guilty of treason if she is thought to have strayed
willingly from the King's bed into somebody else's - as Anne Boleyn and
Catherine Howard discovered to their great cost.
We may safely assume, I think, that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles are unlikely to produce any more babies - and so the legal protection to be accorded to the bride's chastity is a bit of an irrelevance. Anyway, I have a pious but ungallant feeling that Mrs PB's fidelity to her future husband will be able to look after itself, without any help from the Treason Acts.
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