Why did Queen Elizabeth II allow Prince William to marry Catherine Middleton a “commoner”?

Aren’t they only allowed to marry nobles? Or was this a case of true love? 😀


While many British Royals have contracted dynastic marriages with other royals, there is no reason why a commoner may not marry into the British Royal Family. Technically, Prince William’s mother, the former Lady Diana Spencer, was herself a commoner.

She was born The Honourable Diana Spencer, daughter of John Spencer, who, as the heir to the Earl Spencer, was permitted to style himself as Viscount Althorp. When John Spencer became Earl Spencer, his children were permitted to style themselves as Viscount Althorp (his son James) and ‘Lady’ (Diana and her sisters, Sarah and Jane). These titles (Honourable, Viscount (as heir), Lady) are a courtesy extended by the monarch (although permission is rarely denied), not a right or entitlement.

Prior to this, James II, Henry VIII, and Edward IV all married commoners.

Are any British royals allowed to be Catholic if they are 20 or more from the throne?

All British royals, as far as I am aware, are Catholic. Most of them are Reformed Catholic, but a few are Roman Catholic (notably, Princess Michael of Kent, and the Duchess of Kent).

Under the 1701 Act of Settlement, those royals who are, become, or marry Roman Catholics cannot be in the line of succession to the British throne. The interdiction on marriage to a Roman Catholic was removed in the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act.

The monarch, together with everyone in the line of succession, is required to be in communion with the Church of England. If a royal were to convert to any other religion, even another Protestant religion, that royal would be removed from the line of succession.