English constitutional crisis looming?

When the engagement between Peter Phillips, the 29-year-old son of the Princess Royal, and Autumn Kelly, 31, his management consultant girlfriend, was announced a fortnight ago, it barely created a ripple. But the royal romance took an unlikely twist when it emerged that Kelly is a baptised Roman Catholic and therefore falls foul of the 1701 Act of Settlement, which bars monarchs and their heirs from marrying "papists". Although there is now a broad cross-party consensus that aspects of the Act are unfair, there is little political will to do anything about it - Jonathan Petre

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