The Telegraph reports that Gordon Brown may repeal the 1701 Act of Settlement, which banned Catholics from taking the British throne, because it has recently been criticized by church leaders and mainly Scottish MPs for being discriminatory against the religion.
But a repeal would mean that the 74-year-old Duke of Bavaria would become the the new King of England and Scotland. He is a blood descendant of Charles I in the Stuart line. But his representatives say that Franz Herzog von Bayern, who lives a quiet life at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, is indifferent to the possibility.
Baron Marcus Bechtolsheim, the president of the administration of the Duke of Bavaria, said: “The Duke generally does not comment on this issue because he sees it as an entirely British question which does not concern him. And he regards it as a purely hypothetical issue.
“Even if this change in Britain happens, it won’t change his attitude. All this interest in his opinion makes him smile because, really, he is very happy and satisfied with being the Duke of Bavaria.”
Maybe the Duke is indifferent because it’s no longer appropriate for Germans to get excited about British domination, or maybe it’s because he lives here:
Pope Benedict XVI is often referred to in the English-speaking world as the ‘German Pope’, but as this article points out, he is first and foremost a Bavarian.
The article goes on to talk about how Benedict, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was frequently dubbed ‘God’s Rottweiler,’ is actually a bit of a softie at heart. Indeed, one journalist quoted in the article describes him as “among the most kindhearted, understanding, cordial, even timid men that I have known.”
Benedict’s image as rule-bound and severe might have more than a little to do with perceptions of Germans in general. But the article points out that Bavarians view themselves as rather more fun than their northern counterparts. For his part the Pope has put up a strong defence of his countrymen as a whole: “Germans aren’t just reserved, punctual and disciplined,” he has said, “they are also spontaneous, happy and hospitable.” Quite right too.
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