Queen Elizabeth’s Oath to preserve the ‘True Protestant Religion’ in Scotland

On 8 February 1952 (62 years ago today) Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom swore the following oath, required by the Acts of Union of 1707, at the Accession Council, two days after the death of her father, George VI

‘I, Elizabeth the Second (sic) by the Grace of God of Great Britain, Ireland and the British dominions beyond the seas, Queen, Defender of the Faith, do faithfully promise and swear that I shall inviolably maintain and preserve the Settlement of the True Protestant Religion as established by the laws of Scotland in prosecution of the Claim of Right and particularly an Act entituled an Act for the Securing the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government and by the Acts passed in both Kingdoms for the Union of the two Kingdoms, together with the Government, Worship, Discipline, Rights and Privileges of the Church of Scotland’.

(National Archives of Scotland 1952 37(3) 496/4 Scottish Home Department 11 February.  Certified copy).

The Scottish Government in its independence plan ‘Scotland’s Future’ pledges not to change the legal status of any church or religion in Scotland (Q590) even though the Scottish Parliament has more than once passed a motion urging the repeal of the Act of Settlement of 1701 which excludes Roman Catholics from succession to the throne.

This topic is explored in much greater depth in ‘Monarchy, religion and the state’ by ESS Honorary President Professor Norman Bonney. Details at;


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