A Defence of the Monarchy: Catholics Under a Protestant King

The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ceremonies surrounding her funeral and the coronation of her son King Charles III, raised many questions for the tens of millions of people who followed the events online. What is the meaning and function of a monarchy, and its rituals, in the modern world? And how should Catholics, in particular, view the record of a Queen who appeared to preside over the de-Christianisation of her own country?

These are the questions this book sets out to answer. It considers the place of the monarchy in the interplay of tradition and modernity; the meaning and development of the coronation rites; the constitutional role of British monarchs and their role in legislation; and the way the monarchy is seen in America and the rest of the English-speaking world.

This book makes the case for the monarchy as a repository of Catholic tradition, a politically neutral focus of unity; and the symbolic interface between the nation and God. 

Contributions from Sohrab Ahmari, James Bogle, Charles Coulombe, Peter Day-Milne, Sebastian Morello, and Joseph Shaw

Buy the book from the publisher, Angelico PressAmazon.comAmazon.co.uk, the Latin Mass Society shop, and elsewhere. 

Short talks on the book from the book launch (you can also find these on pod-cast platforms under 'Latin Mass Society: Iota Unum):


HE Eduard von Habsburg, Hungarian Ambassador to the Holy See

This is an incredibly interesting and well done book. It is especially valuable that it makes the argument in favour of even a weak monarchy, in its constitutional powers and even in terms of the personal commitments of it representatives. Instead of giving way to despair, the book encourages us to continue to appreciate the constitutional and symbolic importance of monarchy, while we wait for a monarchy that embodies Catholic principles in their fullness.

Fr Calvin Robinson, Patron of the British Monarchist Society

This book provides many lessons to Roman Catholics on why the British monarchy is a good thing; how Christians can be united around the British institution, even with our differences; and a staunch reminder that British heritage is undeniably Catholic, and a strong preserver of Catholic tradition through ceremonies such as the coronation and funeral services of the monarch. The last thing any traditionalist should want to see is the end of Catholic tradition.

Gavin Ashenden, Chaplain to the Queen 2008-2017

This excellent and intriguing new book edited by Dr Shaw, defending the monarchy from a Catholic perspective, offers not only an informed perspective on  constitutional developments and realities, but makes a powerful case that the monarchy we have offers us a great deal more than would a republic. It also serves as a defence of the integrity of Elizabeth II against under-informed anxieties held by some passionate defenders of the rights of the unborn child.  The grasp of constitutional and historical development makes refreshing reading for anyone interested in our constitutional settlement not only as a matter of history, but also to furnish us with ways of judging the political dilemmas a turbulent cultural future may present us with.

Table of Contents


Introduction by Joseph Shaw


The Constitution

1. The Monarchy and the British Constitution by James Bogle and Sebastian Morello

2. Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Assent by James Bogle

3. The Monarchy and Responsibility for Legislation by James Bogle

4. The Monarch and Co-operation with Evil by Joseph Shaw

5. Lost Dignity: On the Dignified Aspect of Government and the Problem of Totalitarianism by Sebastian Morello


The Coronation

6. The Coronation is a Ritual Humiliation by Sohrab Ahmari 

7. The Eighth Sacrament? by Charles Coulombe

8. The Vocation of Queen Elizabeth II and the Coronation Liturgy by Peter Day-Milne


Responding to Catholic Objections

9. The Place of the Monarchy in Anglophone Culture by James Bogle

10. The King’s Friends: George III and the American Revolution by Charles Coulombe

11. On Monarchy and Tradition by Joseph Shaw

12. Honour a Heretic King? The Question facing King Charles III’s Catholic Subjects by Sebastian Morello

13. Rex Sacrorum by Joseph Shaw


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