Accession Declaration Act 1910

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Accession Declaration Act, 1910[1]
Long title An Act to alter the form of the Declaration required to be made by the Sovereign on Accession.
Citation 10 Edw. 7 & 1 Geo. 5 c. 29
Royal Assent 3 August 1910
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Accession Declaration Act 1910 is an Act which was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to change the form of the declaration that the Sovereign is required to make at his or her accession to the throne. The Declaration is made at the opening of the first parliament of the new monarch's reign, and in it he or she solemnly declares him- or herself to be faithful to the Protestant faith.[2] The altered declaration is as follows:

"I [here insert the name of the Sovereign] do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God profess, testify, and declare that I am a faithful Protestant, and that I will, according to the true intent of the enactments which secure the Protestant succession to the Throne of my Realm, uphold and maintain the said enactments to the best of my powers according to law."

Prior to the Act, the form of the declaration was set down by the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701:

I, A. B., by the grace of God King (or Queen) of England, Scotland and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do believe that in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any Transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever: and that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary or any other Saint, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. And I do solemnly in the presence of God profess, testify, and declare that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me, as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, without any such dispensation from any person or authority or person whatsoever, or without thinking that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration or any part thereof, although the Pope, or any other person or persons, or power whatsoever, should dispense with or annul the same or declare that it was null and void from the beginning".[3]

King Edward VII was unhappy at the wording and wished to have it changed before the next succession. When he died in 1910, his successor, George V, made it known that he would refuse to open parliament as long as he was obliged to make the declaration in its current form. Prime Minister H. H. Asquith was in agreement with the king, and the Act was passed through the currently-sitting parliament before the new king was required to open the new parliament.[2]


  1. ^ Short title as conferred by s. 2 of the Act; the modern convention for the citation of short titles omits the comma after the word "Act".
  2. ^ a b Callum G. Brown and Michael Snape, Secularisation in the Christian World, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2010, p. 62
  3. ^ Thurston, Herbert, The Royal Declaration, Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912

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