William and Mary have the distinction of being the only husband and wife team crowned as co-rulers in England. William III, Prince of Orange, and Mary II were first cousins - both being a grandchild of Charles II.
After the scare Parliament received from the very Catholic Stuarts, it took no chances before inviting William and Mary to take the throne of England. Once Charles II was driven out and William held England, he and Mary were only offered the throne if they agreed to the Declaration of Rights, a lengthy document that declared, among other things, a Catholic could not be king or queen of England since "it hath been found by experience that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this protestant kingdom to be governed by a papist prince". Since then, all sovereigns have been required to swear a coronation oath to maintain the Protestant religion.
When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?' ~~Quentin Crisp.
This Day in History: William III and Mary II are crowned at Westminster Abbey as co-monarchs of England on April 11 of what year?
Labels: European History, William and Mary