The British Queen should no longer be head of the Church of England according to an influential left-wing organisation. The Fabian Society has published a report into the future of the monarchy and it says that the monarchy needs to properly represent the country's different religions. This report from Jane Little:
The report calls for a comprehensive modernisation of the monarchy to bring it more into line with other European constitutional monarchies. It says that members of the royal family should have to pay inheritance tax and the Queen's role in the annual state opening of parliament should be changed.
But its biggest challenge to the current form of monarchy is to its entanglement with the Church of England. It argues that the Queen should no longer be the Supreme Governor of the church. It also urges the overturning of the controversial Act of Settlement. Under that law passed in 1701, no Catholic or anyone married to a catholic can succeed to the throne.
These changes would be the most radical in five hundred years, since Henry the Eighth broke away from the Roman Catholic faith and became head of the Church of England. But there is considerable pressure for changes to a system many regard as out of step with modern, multi-cultural Britain. The Queen has herself said the monarchy needs to adapt to modern times, while the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, has in the past declared his desire to be the "defender of faiths" rather than "the faith".