Royal re-internment granted: The Church of England Newspaper, June 9 2013, p 6. June 13, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England.
Tags: Burial Act of 1857, Consistory Court, Diocese of Oxford, Queen Maria of Yugoslavia
The Consistory Court of the Diocese of Oxford has granted a faculty to the Republic of Serbia to exhume and transfer the remains of Queen Maria of Yugoslavia from the Royal Burial Grounds at Frogmore in Windsor to the Royal House of Karadjordevich crypt at St George’s church in Topola, Serbia.
In a 24 April 2013 decision by the Chancellor of the diocese His Hon Judge Rupert Bursell QC, the court held that an exception to section 25 of the Burial Act of 1857 could be made in this case to the rule forbidding remains to be transferred from consecrated to unconsecrated graves.
The court noted that while the Serbian church “has no doubt been consecrated according to the Orthodox rites such consecration is not the same as the consecration required by the Burial Act of 1857.”
However ecclesiastical law encourages family graves, the Chancellor noted, adding the Burial Act “only applies to this country.”
“In the present case Queen Maria’s remains have been buried in the Royal Burial Ground here in England since 1961 but it has not possible for a petition for exhumation to be lodged at an earlier date as the family had necessarily to await a favourable decision by the government of Serbia.
“Happily that decision is now been made. Moreover, it seems to me that are very special reasons why the remains should be reinterred at the royal mausoleum as may be inferred from the fact that the decision to seek exhumation was made by the Government of the Republic of Serbia itself.
“Indeed, in my view there cannot be a better example here of the exercise of the comity of nations …” the chancellor held.
A consistory court should “not permit an exhumation unless it is satisfied that those remains were thereafter be in church preserved in place of real permanence. In the present case I’m satisfied that all these requirements will be more than adequately met by the reinternment in the royal mausoleum,” the court held.