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Author Topic: British Royal Family and Orthodoxy?  (Read 32122 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 25, 2007, 10:43:09 PM »

Forgive me if this has already been discussed or this is something that everyone already knows!

I have just recently found out about the Royal Family and how there is a connection with Orthodoxy. Prince Phillip is paternally Greek, and born on Corfu. He was an actual Orthodox Christian until his Marriage to Elizabeth II, where he had to drop all previous titles and convert to Anglicanism. Now however, I am seeimg some stuff on the internet about how he never really abondonded Orthodoxy and the converison was merely ceremonial. These claims are backed up by the fact that he can still be seen in public crossing himself the Orthodox way.

But heres something interesting... rumours have been flocking around in the 90s of Prince Charles' possible conversion or interest in Orthodoxy. I found a link with something interesting on there...claiming there to be proof of a trip to Mount Athos in 2002. http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/hrh.htm

So I dont know, I'm just wondering if anyone else on this board can tell me something more about all this, I find it interesting and for some reason it makes me happy to know Orthodoxy has some existance in Britain, especially within the Royal Family!
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2007, 10:47:02 PM »

Well, if the Prince is flirting with Orthodoxy, he will have to give up more than most do.  Legally, in order to wear the crown, he must be an Anglican; if he renounces the state religion, he renounces his birthright.
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 10:56:46 PM »

Considering Prince Charles' numerous visits and "pilgramges" to Mt. Athos as well as the charity he established to keep Athos' beauty preserved, it wouldn't surprise me if he were doing more than flirting with Orthdoxy especially when one sees the numerous ties the House of Windsor has with the Greek royal family, besides Prince Philip.  However, I'm sure that he wouldn't want to abandon his claim to the crown of England for this.  The only heir that did this since the Act of Settlement of 1708 was George VI who abdicated to marry his Catholic fiancee.
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 11:06:42 PM »

Couldn't he change the law once he is crowned?
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2007, 11:07:41 PM »

Couldn't he change the law once he is crowned?

That would require an Act of Parliament!
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2007, 11:11:46 PM »

the converison was merely ceremonial. 
  Which is nothing new or unusual and has been done for over a 1000 years with royal marriages.  Seems like these "conversions" just come with the crown.  Makes me wonder if the respective churches just accept it as an act of state?
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2007, 11:14:50 PM »

Both houses or just the Commons, since the Lords don't really seem to have any power save what flavour tea be served to visitors to Windsor? Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2007, 11:28:00 PM »

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1214522,00.html

Wow theres alot of this stuff on the internet, I'm surprised I ddint come across it much earlier.

Quote
Has Prince Charles found his true spiritual home on a Greek rock?


Visits spark claims of royal's commitment to Orthodoxy

Helena Smith in Athens
Wednesday May 12, 2004
The Guardian


On Monday night a resplendent yacht docked at the watery entrance to the world's only monastic republic. A middle-aged man, followed by two bodyguards, stepped on to the jetty of the peninsula in northern Greece and into the "state" known variously as Mount Athos, Aghio Oros and the Holy Mount.
A few monks in black robes and pillar-box hats stood waiting, but, under orders to keep the identity of this particular pilgrim secret, it was a reception without fanfare. Their guest - clean-shaven in contrast to the bearded clerics - was Prince Charles, on his third clandestine retreat to Athos in the past 12 months.

According to friends and associates of the prince, the future head of the Church of England has become enamoured of the Orthodox faith to the point that he has adorned a section of his home at Highgrove with prized Byzantine icons. Many are believed to originate from the Mount, the Orthodox world's holiest site.

"There is no question that the British royal is Orthodox in his heart," confided one Athonite monk, making a rare trip outside the remote republic. "Sadly, he is very constrained by his position."

Athos, they say, encapsulates Charles's profound admiration for tradition, ancient wisdom and a divine natural order - even if it has maintained a ban on women since AD1060.

Women are still forbidden from going within 500 metres of the monks' republic. Yellow signs along the shores of the 400-square-mile peninsula shoo away "female intruders", despite growing calls within the EU to have the ban lifted. For the nearly 2,000 monks who have devoted their lives to shunning sexual desire through prayer, the Virgin Mary is the only acceptable female presence.

The prince, like his friend, the composer Sir John Tavener, who converted to Greek Orthodoxy in 1977, is said to be especially drawn to the Orthodox church's rugged spirituality. Orthodox faithful are allowed to marry up to three times.

Not since the Stuarts has an heir to the throne taken such an intellectual interest in religion. For years Charles, who assumes the title of Defender of the Faith when he becomes king, has displayed an unprecedented interest in denominations as divergent as Islam and Buddhism.

But his regular meetings with Ephraim, the abbot of Vatopedion - his adopted monastery on the Mount - have helped fuel speculation that the prince is being personally instructed in eastern Christianity, even if it is fiercely denied by courtiers.

The Cypriot-born abbot is said to be a frequent visitor to Highgrove.

Witnesses say that when the prince arrived in Athos days after the death of Princess Diana almost seven years ago, it was Ephraim who induced him to join the faith. Closeted in a chamber alone with the abbot, Charles is believed to have made a "spiritual commitment" to Christian Orthodoxy.

"What people forget is that Orthodoxy is in his family," Archbishop Grigorios of Thyateira, who heads the 500,000-strong Orthodox community in Britain, told the Guardian.

"One of Charles's aunts, the Grand Duchess Eugenia, was proclaimed an Orthodox saint after she was murdered in Moscow where she had established a monastery. His paternal grandmother, Aliki [Alice], was a nun for most of her life. She spoke very good Greek and in her later years, when she came to live in London, she kept an Orthodox chapel in Buckingham Palace," added the prelate. "Aliki was a very powerful woman whom I'm sure had a very strong influence on Charles in his early years."

As the religious centre of eastern Orthodoxy, Athos is a magnet for pilgrims dedicated to the faith. Many - as testified by the growing number of monks from the EU, Canada, Australia and the US - don't look back. And among Europe's wealthy blue bloods, the luxuriant territory is seen as the perfect "detox" getaway.

But the prince's affection for a place where visitors sleep on lumpy mattresses and rise at 4am has also raised the inevitable question of whether the heir to the throne harbours desires of eventually converting to the religion.

Prince Philip, his Corfu-born father who like Charles is an honorary member of the Friends of Mount Athos, had to switch to Anglicanism from Greek Orthodoxy to marry the Queen.

In their large, decaying monasteries the clerics cherish the sort of Spartan conditions that Charles hated at Gordonstoun, his stern Scottish boarding school. Most also make no secret of their loathing of other western religions.

In the wake of last year's allegations of rape and the sale of gifts which engulfed the house of Windsor and its staff, senior Greek Orthodox priests launched a spirited defence of the prince. Many denounced the claims as an "international conspiracy" unleashed by forces bent on destroying the reluctant royal's new-found affection for the religion.

"All these attacks against Charles are doubtless due to the fact that he has embraced Orthodoxy," said His Beatitude, Anthimos, the Bishop of Alexandroupolis. "If his Orthodox beliefs were ever to be made official, people would find it very troubling."

Officially, St James's Palace says the prince's trips to the car-free Mount are a purely "personal affair".

"He goes there as a private individual, not in his official capacity as the Prince of Wales," said Kirstine Clark, a spokeswoman at the palace. "Visits are very much in his private time, so we don't issue details. What I can say is that he is interested in the architecture and spirituality of Mount Athos."

But, perhaps because he stands to become the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Charles is also unusually sensitive about his trips to the Mount. His visits have been shrouded in secrecy. Countless Greeks with access to the community told the Guardian they were under oath never to mention them.

Government officials and diplomats are politely told not to escort the prince to Vatopedion, which he helped restore with money from the auction of his watercolours.

Attending the opening of the newly refurbished monastery last year, the prince said he hoped each of the Mount's 23 monasteries would soon regain their former splendour. He would, he said, work hard to ensure that happened
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 11:31:12 PM »

Thanks for that article, sloga. It did my eyes good. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2007, 12:37:09 AM »

Couldn't he change the law once he is crowned?

That would require an Act of Parliament!

Well, if we want to discuss the theory of Royal Perogatives (which we are if we're discussing direct intervention into English law by the monarch), the monarch technically does not require the consent of parliment in such matters, and could promulgate such a law by their own authority. Of course, this, like most Royal Perogatives, will likely never again be exercised.
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2007, 12:41:49 AM »

Well, if the Prince is flirting with Orthodoxy, he will have to give up more than most do.  Legally, in order to wear the crown, he must be an Anglican; if he renounces the state religion, he renounces his birthright.
Didn't Prince Charles already abdicate his eventual claim to the throne by divorcing Diana?  I thought the throne of England was closed to divorcees.
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2007, 01:09:52 AM »

Didn't Prince Charles already abdicate his eventual claim to the throne by divorcing Diana?  I thought the throne of England was closed to divorcees.

I've heard rumours of this too, but I don't think it's right. 
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2007, 01:15:32 AM »

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1214522,00.html

Wow theres alot of this stuff on the internet, I'm surprised I ddint come across it much earlier.


And as far as I can tell, every word of it is true.  Except that it should be added that Charles has an Orthodox chapel in his castle in Scotland.  And Prince Phillip is Orthodox again.
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2007, 01:21:00 AM »

Considering Prince Charles' numerous visits and "pilgramges" to Mt. Athos as well as the charity he established to keep Athos' beauty preserved, it wouldn't surprise me if he were doing more than flirting with Orthdoxy especially when one sees the numerous ties the House of Windsor has with the Greek royal family, besides Prince Philip.  However, I'm sure that he wouldn't want to abandon his claim to the crown of England for this.  The only heir that did this since the Act of Settlement of 1708 was George VI who abdicated to marry his Catholic fiancee.



I agree that he wouldn't abandon his desire to be "Defender of Faith" as he once said he'd like to be called.

I always found it interesting that there are rumors of Charles and Islam as well as talk of Charles and Orthodoxy. Of course, neither are likely to be true. Charles seems like the type who appreciates anything "spiritual."
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2007, 01:27:40 AM »

Well, if we want to discuss the theory of Royal Perogatives (which we are if we're discussing direct intervention into English law by the monarch), the monarch technically does not require the consent of parliment in such matters, and could promulgate such a law by their own authority. Of course, this, like most Royal Perogatives, will likely never again be exercised.

We did have quite a good discussion about this once upon a time... I forget which thread it was in.
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2007, 01:34:55 AM »

I always found it interesting that there are rumors of Charles and Islam as well as talk of Charles and Orthodoxy. Of course, neither are likely to be true. Charles seems like the type who appreciates anything "spiritual."

Hi Lubeltri.
I know for a fact that just about everything in the Guardian article is true, plus what I mentioned about Charle's Scottish castle and his father.  So I don't really know what you mean.
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2007, 01:51:27 AM »

Hi Lubeltri.
I know for a fact that just about everything in the Guardian article is true, plus what I mentioned about Charle's Scottish castle and his father.  So I don't really know what you mean.

I'm talking about secret conversions. Not likely to be true. Charles, like many celebrities, is into spirituality, but there is no proof that he has gone beyond that and formally converted to another church, Greek Orthodox or otherwise. If he has converted, and kept it secret to protect his position, that would be shameful. What would Jesus and all the apostles and martyrs say to that (after first a long discussion with him about Camilla, of course Wink )?
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2007, 05:46:59 AM »

I'm talking about secret conversions. Not likely to be true. Charles, like many celebrities, is into spirituality, but there is no proof that he has gone beyond that and formally converted to another church, Greek Orthodox or otherwise. If he has converted, and kept it secret to protect his position, that would be shameful. What would Jesus and all the apostles and martyrs say to that (after first a long discussion with him about Camilla, of course Wink )?

IIRC, many of the martyrs and saints kept their conversions secret/private, until a time of persecution or public wrongdoing against the Church rolled around.  I know that this is not an analogous situation, but at the same time it should be noted that conversion wasn't always public knowledge.
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2007, 06:45:54 AM »

Legally, in order to wear the crown, he must be an Anglican;
Actually, the 1710 Act of Settlement does not say that the British Monarch must be Anglican.
I believe it says that they must not be a Roman Catholic or married to one and must defend the Anglican Church. Technically, an Orthodox Christian can be the British Monarch.
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2007, 06:56:00 AM »

Actually, the 1710 Act of Settlement does not say that the British Monarch must be Anglican.
I believe it says that they must not be a Roman Catholic or married to one and must defend the Anglican Church. Technically, an Orthodox Christian can be the British Monarch. 

So why the change with Philip if he wasn't required to convert in order to marry Elizabeth?
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« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2007, 07:16:45 AM »

So why the change with Philip if he wasn't required to convert in order to marry Elizabeth?
I believe this was actually imposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, but not required by British Law. As the Queen's Consort, Philip cannot inherit the throne beyond his own birthright (in other words, marrying The Queen places him no closer to ascending the throne than he would be if he were not married to her). If he were not married to Her Majesty, he would still be 475th in line for succession to the throne in his own right by virtue of the fact that he is a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria. So even if (hypothetically) the British Monarch indeed had to be Anglican, there was no need for him to convert for that reason since he is so far from the throne. And since he was not Roman Catholic, this would not have impeded his marriage to an heir to the British Throne under the 1710 Act of Settlement.
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« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2007, 07:45:29 AM »

Here is the relevant text of the 1710 Act of Settlement. (Renamed the 1700 Act of Settlement):
"And it was thereby further enacted That all and every Person and Persons that then were or afterwards should be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the See or Church of Rome or should professe the Popish Religion or marry a Papist should be excluded and are by that Act made for ever incapable to inherit possess or enjoy the Crown and Government of this Realm"
Source: http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?activeTextDocId=1565208
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« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2007, 10:42:09 AM »

Very interesting!  Thanks for the reference.

The only restriction I can think of would be that if the Regent is still technically the head of the state religion then it would create a problem.  I know that for all intents and purposes that the Archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of the Church, but if the King/Queen is still defined as  the head, then I can see why the objection to Philip (and the prohibition for Charles and his heirs) would be present.
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« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2007, 11:13:10 AM »

It's moot to me.  I think that the people of the UK should throw off their tyranny and dissolve the monarchy and the house of lords. 
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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2007, 11:18:04 AM »

Tyranny?  Last I heard the Queen had as much desicion making power as Maid Mertle down the street.  The role of the royals nowadays is primarily social, and really nothing more. 
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2007, 11:29:18 AM »

It's moot to me.  I think that the people of the UK should throw off their tyranny and dissolve the monarchy and the house of lords. 

The only tyranny is found in the House of Commons which has destroyed the checks and balances that used to be imposed upon it by the House of Lords and the Crown. Unchecked power, be it held by a sovereign or the mob, is a greater threat to liberty than inherited authority.
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2007, 01:35:38 PM »

HM George VI died of cancer, he did not abdicate.   Lord North was Orthodox, secretly received on the Island of Napthlion.. sp?  There could be a number of secret Orthodox VIPs, but I don't think it includes Bush or Clinton Roll Eyes
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2007, 01:48:06 PM »

^Careful on the 'Politics', please. Innuendo counts.
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« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2007, 04:39:24 PM »

If I am correct, and my Serb Bretheren can correct me, HRH Elizabeth is the godmother of the Crown Prince of Serbia.
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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2007, 05:58:18 PM »

I'm bigger royalty than him, he cant even speak Serbian, nor does he know his serbian history. But yes, you are correct.
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« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2007, 07:32:30 PM »

The only tyranny is found in the House of Commons which has destroyed the checks and balances that used to be imposed upon it by the House of Lords and the Crown. Unchecked power, be it held by a sovereign or the mob, is a greater threat to liberty than inherited authority.

You are so easy to bait  Tongue
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« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2007, 07:56:21 PM »

Very interesting!  Thanks for the reference.

The only restriction I can think of would be that if the Regent is still technically the head of the state religion then it would create a problem.  I know that for all intents and purposes that the Archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of the Church, but if the King/Queen is still defined as  the head, then I can see why the objection to Philip (and the prohibition for Charles and his heirs) would be present.
The title of the British Monarch is "Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church" but that doesn't mean that they have to be Anglican. In fact, the first to ascend to the British Throne after the Act of Settlement was King George I who was not Anglican but Lutheran, thus starting the Hanoverian Line which ended with Queen Victoria. Our own Orthodox St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess, was herself a member of the Hanoverian Line and was Lutheran before her conversion to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2007, 08:11:34 PM »

You are so easy to bait  Tongue

Big surprise there Wink
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« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2007, 08:25:54 PM »

If I am correct, and my Serb Bretheren can correct me, HRH Elizabeth is the godmother of the Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia.
And he is a classic example of how the 1710 Act of Settlement works. He was listed as an heir to the British Throne, however he lost this right because his first marriage was to a Roman Catholic (Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Braganza). Even his subsequent divorce and re-marriage to a non-Catholic does not restore his right to the British Throne, since the Act of Settlement excludes "for ever" anyone who ever was (or was ever married to) a Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2007, 08:37:51 PM »

Ah, but article 3 of the Act of Settlement 1700 states: "That whosoever shall hereafter come to the Possession of this Crown shall joyn in Communion with the Church of England as by Law established"

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?activeTextDocId=1565208

Therefore, all claimants to the throne must be in the Anglican Communion.....of course it's not clear if you remove yourself from the line of succession by marrying, for exmple, an Eastern Orthodox.

Naturally, it's all a moot point if you are a Jacobite.
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« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2007, 09:07:21 PM »

The Act says that the Monarch must "be in Communion" with the Church of England. Monarchs and heirs to Thrones have received permissions from their Orthodox Bishops to receive Protestant Sacraments, and in some cases, even "ordinary" laity have. St. Raphael Hawaweeny gave permission for his flock to receive Episcopalian Sacraments in extreme circumstances in 1910 (later retracted). Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark received permission from his Orthodox Bishop to marry both in a Lutheran Church and an Orthodox Church. All that would be required is that an Orthodox Christian Monarch receive permission from their Bishop to receive Communion in the Church of England.
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« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2007, 02:43:17 AM »

Big surprise there Wink

I'd rather die on the barricade proclaiming Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité than to live as a subject of a monarch.  You sorely disappoint, GiC (where's that scotch-irish in you?). 
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« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2007, 12:09:59 AM »

I'd rather die on the barricade proclaiming Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité than to live as a subject of a monarch.  You sorely disappoint, GiC (where's that scotch-irish in you?). 

My Scots-Irish ancestors realized that the whole Island was a lost cause and left. Wink

A monarch is by no means the best solution, but when rights are trampled, be it by a monarch or an elected parliament, la Liberté has ceased to exist. Despotism and tyranny must be opposed in every form, not only when dressed in purple. And rest assured, the scots-irish in me really doesn't have much regard for any authority, whether it wears a crown or a suit...it is all the seed of tyranny. Grin
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« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2007, 12:23:55 AM »

where's that scotch-irish in you?). 
Ahem.  Scotch is a drink mady by the Scots.  I won't hold that against you...this time. Cool  Wink
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« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2007, 12:32:18 AM »

Ahem.  Scotch is a drink mady by the Scots.  I won't hold that against you...this time. Cool  Wink
Actually, the correct name for the drink is "Scotch Whiskey" meaning "Scottish Whiskey". In polite Scottish society, persons from Scotland are "Scottish", and non-persons from Scotland are "Scotch".
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« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2007, 12:57:02 AM »

Actually, the correct name for the drink is "Scotch Whiskey" meaning "Scottish Whiskey". In polite Scottish society, persons from Scotland are "Scottish", and non-persons from Scotland are "Scotch".
Actually, in Great Britain, "Scotch" is understood to mean "whiskey that's made in Scotland" unless otherwise specified (indeed, whiskey CANNOT be labeled as Scotch unless it was made and bottled in Scotland).  And in Scottish society, polite or otherwise, a person from Scotland is known as a "Scotsman" or simply a "Scot" as well as "Scottish", depending on who is speaking and hearing, as it were.   I have this on direct authority from several Scotsman from Scotland as well as a Scots-Irishman from Ireland.  And as a Scots-Irish American myself, I've studied quite a bit on the subject.  As for a non-person, I have no idea what they're called as I've yet to meet one.  Wink
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« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2007, 01:11:32 AM »

And as a Scots-Irish American myself, I've studied quite a bit on the subject. 
Well, you obviously haven't studied it at Scotch College, Melbourne. Wink
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« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2007, 01:31:28 AM »

Well, you obviously haven't studied it at Scotch College, Melbourne. Wink
Obviously I stand corrected. Tongue  But, every Scotsman I've talked to on the subject has been quick to point out that 'Scotch' is the whiskey and very rarely used to describe anything but whiskey and I've only encountered a handfull of books using the term Scotch-Irish rather than the preferred Scots-Irish.  Perhaps your school wanted to show it's Scottish Presbyterian roots yet avoid any xenophobia by naming itself Scottish College.
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« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2007, 01:34:14 AM »

'Scotch' is the whiskey and very rarely used to describe anything but whiskey
What about Scotch Tape, Scotch Eggs, Scotch Broth, Scotch Pie?
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« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2007, 01:44:10 AM »

What about Scotch Tape, Scotch Eggs, Scotch Broth, Scotch Pie?
What about them?  As I said,
every Scotsman I've talked to on the subject has been quick to point out that 'Scotch' is the whiskey and very rarely used to describe anything but whiskey
So I suppose that either they were wrong or those products were named by non-Scots.
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