chapter  17
Pages 10

Necessarily, preparations were made during Anne’s reign for the accession of a foreign-born monarch, who would take some time to arrive in Britain after the queen’s death. An Act of 1705 naturalised the Electress Sophia and the issue of her body ‘whenever born’, provided that they were not and did not become or marry a Roman Catholic,4 an Act which would remain in force until its repeal by the British Nationality Act 1948 and would produce the unintended consequence that several hundred members of European royalty, including a number of foreign monarchs, were or in some cases are technically British nationals.5 The Succession to the Crown Act 1707 made provision for the continuance of government in the critical period before the new monarch could arrive from Hanover and physically occupy the throne. For the first time, Parliament would not be dissolved on the demise of the Crown, but would remain in being for six months afterwards unless dissolved earlier by a legitimate monarch. Office holders would similarly retain their positions for six months and a Regency Council would govern on behalf of the new ruler.