BY Daniel Harkins | January 8 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

10 Baker

British Ambassador to the Holy See commemorates James Francis Edward Stuart

At ceremony in at St Peter’s Basilica, the Queen’s representative in Rome marks the 250th anniversary of ‘the Old Pretender's’ state funeral

Nigel Baker, the British Ambassador to the Holy See (above right), laid a wreath at the tomb of James Francis Edward Stuart this afternoon at St Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Jacobite’s state funeral.

James Francis Edward Stuart (below) was the son of King James VII of Scotland—King James II of England and Ireland—and Queen Mary of Modena. Known as the Old Pretender, he claimed the throne as James III of England and Ireland, VIII of Scotland.

When exiled Pope Clement XI offered James the Palazzo Muti in Rome as his residence, and he accepted. Innocent XIII, like his predecessor, showed much support. James died in exile in Rome on January 1, 1766, and was given the unprecedented honour of a state funeral by the Pope on January 8 in St Peter’s Basilica, where he lies.

The Pope recognised him as king, but did not extend that title to his sons with Maria Clementina Sobieska (1702–35), granddaughter of the Polish king, John III Sobieski: Charles Edward Stuart, (31 December 1720 – 31 January 1788), aka ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and Henry Benedict Stuart, (11 March 1725 – 13 July 1807), Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

Today’s commemoration ceremony was sanctioned by HM Queen Elizabeth II and consisted of a simple wreath-laying and the appropriate Collect (in English) by Ambassador Baker, the reading of the Rite of Commendation (in Latin) by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of St Peter’s Basilica, and the sung Antiphon In Paradisum Deducant Te Angeli.

Ambassador Baker was accompanied by Scottish priest Mgr Charles Burns (above left), ecclesiastical advisor at the British Embassy to the Holy See. Other participants included the Polish and Irish Ambassadors to the Holy See and the rectors of the Pontifical Beda, Scots, Irish and Venerable English Colleges, and ecumenical representatives.




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