Would British history have been same if current rules were applied? (Lead)June 10th, 2010 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS
By Venkata Vemuri
London, June 10 (IANS) There may not have been a Victorian era if the latest immigration rule requiring the spouse of a British citizen to know English to enter the country was in vogue only a couple of centuries ago, a newspaper asked here Thursday.
Commenting on the rule announced by Home Secretary Theresa May earlier this week, The Telegraph pointed out that Queen Victoria’s mother knew no English when she came to Britain as the bride of the Duke of Kent who apparently knew more French.
It says: “When Queen Victoria’s parents were courting, neither spoke the other’s language. The Duke of Kent wrote to his German bride, in French, suggesting each learn the other’s tongue to foster “mutual attachment”. The wedding service, printed in German and English, supplied her line: ‘Ich vill’ (I will).”
The “instigator of the Victorian age” might never have been born if the rules had been in force, the newspaper says.
It points out how different it would have made British history “in which Henry IV was the first monarch since the Conquest to speak English as his mother tongue.”
The Conquest is dedicated to recreating the Norman, Anglo-Norman and Plantagenet (Angevin Line) period of English history from the Battle of Hastings until the death of Edward I (1066-1307 AD).
Ironically, when the new English knowledge rule is eventually made into law, the newspaper notes, it could only be after these words are pronounced in parliament not in English but in Norman French: “La Reine le veult”.
The British parliamentary procedure stipulates that the clerk of parliament says these words - which mean ‘the Queen wishes it’ - since in the Queen’s absence it is his duty to signify her Royal Assent to the Bills which have passed both houses.
Tags: angevin, battle of hastings, british citizen, british history, british parliamentary procedure, clerk of parliament, duke of kent, edward i, english knowledge, henry iv, instigator, mother tongue, mutual attachment, norman french, plantagenet, queen victoria, royal assent, theresa may, venkata, victorian age