The proposal to bring the body of Mary, Queen of Scots, back to Scotland
and bury it at Falkland Palace is … ill-considered, writes Gerald
Warner. The Stone of Destiny this is not. Any comparison is unfounded.
The Stone was an intrinsic part of Scotland’s heritage, taken by force by
an invader. It was stolen property and, as such, required to be restored
to its rightful location. The body of the Queen is a different matter.
motion [in the Scottish Parliament] notes support "from the
Catholic Church". James MacMillan, the Catholic composer, has said the
return of Mary’s body would be a "profoundly religious and spiritual
event". How can he believe that? MacMillan, to his great credit, has been
vociferous in condemning the travesty of a liturgy that is the legacy of
the Second Vatican Catastrophe. Can he not imagine the field day the
liturgical animators and sanctuary can-can dancers would have, capering
around the royal catafalque, singing banal, happy-clappy rubbish, with a
few bars of Simon and Garfunkel thrown in for the more traditionally
The main objection, however, is that it would diminish
Mary. Besides being Queen of Scots, she was also Queen Mary II de jure of
England. Elizabeth I was the bastard daughter of Henry VIII and his
mistress Anne Boleyn, born out of wedlock, then spuriously legitimised by
a bigamous marriage. That was why Mary, throughout her imprisonment in
England, was the centre of plots – not to restore her to the Scottish
crown, but to install her on the throne of England. She died for that
rightful claim and for the Catholic faith.
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