Wull ye no come back again, Arch Duke Franz of Bavaria? The Kirk dropped a constitutional bombshell into the referendum campaign last week by suggesting that Scottish monarchs should be crowned in Scotland after independence. The last king to have been so invested was Charles 11 in 1651, who was of course a Catholic. Direct in line through the Jacobite succession today is one Franz of Bavaria, an amiable octogenarian who may not fully appreciate that he is King over the Water.
The Restoration didn't end too well for the Presbyterians back in the day. It led to the “Killing Time” of the 1680s - when thumbscrews and the gallows were the penalties Presbyterians suffered for holding their open-air 'conventicles'. The Act of Settlement in 1701 prevented Catholics from becoming monarchs ever again, and we are still signed up to that – much to the frustration of Alex Salmond who has been trying to get the Act changed so that it no longer discriminates against Catholics.
Which might be why the Kirk also called last week for the Church of Scotland to be called the National Church of Scotland. If the Jacobites got their hands back on the throne, Franz might be minded to bring back thumbscrews for Protestants. And then invade England.
What does all this mean? Well, almost nothing, since no one seriously takes issue with the Hanoverian succession these days, and few of us are members of any church. But it provided another perplexing constitutional issue for Scots to worry about as they await the referendum, or should that be referendoom, in September 2014. Like the threat that Scotland's bank notes may be taken away, as alleged by the UK Treasury's latest broadside against independence. Not content with oor Pandas, they will even take oor poonds.