God save Kate Middleton! Unless she's Catholic, because that would complicate things
Here comes the bride! Here comes Kate Middleton, scrubbed clean of every last remnant of her commoner days, hair gleaming like the Crown Jewels, her diamond-and-sapphire engagement ring shining like a smile from good Queen Bess herself. Bring on the horse-drawn carriages! Bring on the mega-fruitcake!
Bring on the -- discrimination?
From a Reuters story that popped 'round earlier this week: "British law forbids a Catholic, or anyone married to a Catholic, from taking the throne."
That rather ugly nugget came at the end of an item revealing that Middleton has undergone confirmation into the Anglican Church, otherwise known as the official religion of the country of Great Britain.
And oh, there's also this: "As second in line to the throne, William is set to become supreme head of the Church of England when he becomes monarch."
That's right: The wearer of the British crown is also, still, to this day, considered the top religious authority in the country. Nominally, of course. But also quite officially.
And one more thing: Let's flash forward to a few years from now. Let's say Kate and Will have a baby girl. We'll call her Margaret, because, let's face it, it's either Margaret, Anne or Elizabeth. Anyway, let's imagine Margaret is followed by another tot -- say, James.
Guess which child gets to jump to the head of the succession line.
Yeah. It ain't Maggie. To this day, British rules of succession discriminate on who gets the crown and scepter -- based on gender.
And yet we just cannot show enough love for this wedding and the people throwing it. Disney, in honor of the royal nuptials, is giving away a fairy-tale wedding a la the Windsors. American bars will be open all night, pouring drinks dedicated to the event. And Times Square -- you know, the one in New York -- will be lit up with live imagery of the big day.
The Ministry will be watching too, because, well, who are we kidding? But we just may refrain from raising a Pimm's Cup. At least until little Margaret gets her fair shot at the throne.
-- Leslie Gornstein
Photo: Though Catholicism may not be the royal family's cup of tea, Kate Middleton and Prince William just might be. Yes, these are commemorative tea bags. Credit: Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters