Sunday, November 05, 2006

Royal Family Member to Wed at Vatican

In a first since the Reformation, Lord Nicholas Windsor, son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent of Wimbledon tennis fame, will this Saturday marry a British born Croatian noble, Donna Paolo Doimi de Frankopan, at a church behind St Peter's, Rome.

Britain's Independent Catholic News reports that Lord Windsor, whose godparents are The Prince of Wales and the late Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan, will become the first ever member of the Royal Family to marry at the Vatican.

He will also be the first ever member of the Royal Family to marry openly and legally within the rites of the Catholic faith since the Reformation. A recent meeting of the Privy Council confirmed the Queen's approval of the wedding as required by British law.

The historic moment in relations between the Catholic Church and the British Monarchy will take place at the Church of Santo Stefano degli Abissini in the papal gardens behind St Peter's Basilica.

Bishop Alan Hopes, an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Westminster, will conduct the ceremony.

Lord Windsor converted to Catholicism in 2001 and by doing so automatically lost his rights of succession to the throne because of the notorious 1701 Act of Settlement that bars Catholics from becoming monarch.

The little known and publicity shy Lord Nicholas has since his conversion been very active in Church affairs, Independent Catholic News says. He privately joined tens of thousands who queued for hours to file past the body at the lying in state of Pope John Paul II in April 2005.

He and his Cambridge educated wife, Paola, attend Mass regularly at Westminster Cathedral and Brompton Oratory.

In 1994, his mother, the Duchess of Kent, became the most senior member of the Royal Family to convert to Catholicism. Lord Nicholas's uncle's wife, Princess Michael of Kent, and his sister in law, the Countess of St Andrews, whilst Catholic from birth, both conducted civil marriages.

His father, The Duke of Kent, who is the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons of England, is also expected to attend the Vatican ceremony.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent are best known in Australia for their role in presenting the trophies at the Wimbledon tennis tournament every year.

Spokesman for the couple, Mr Anthony Bailey said: "The wedding will be a small and strictly private family affair. It is expected that only immediate family members will attend.

Lord Nicholas's godfather, The Prince of Wales, will not be attending as His Royal Highness will be returning from an Official Visit to Pakistan at the time which was arranged many months ago.

Lord Nicholas and his bride will however be organising a private party to celebrate their marriage in London sometime in the New Year for other members of the Royal Family and close friends who will be unable to travel or have other commitments at this time."


Blogger Ash Wednesday said...

Hey Laura, (is this hughey?)
It's Ash Wednesday spreading the word that my blog Lack of a Better Term is up and running again.. now that I'm done with grad school ;-)

11/06/2006 12:12:00 AM  
Blogger Laura H. said...

OMGoodness! Yes!! I am SO excited!

(and yes, I am who you think I am.)

11/06/2006 12:16:00 AM  

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