Sophia Naturalization Act

From Academic Kids

The Act for the Naturalization of the Most Excellent Princess Sophia, Electress and Duchess Dowager of Hanover, and the Issue of her Body was an act of Parliament passed by the English Parliament in 1705.

It followed from the Act of Settlement 1701 whereby the descendants of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and heirs, were declared to be in the line of succession to the throne (her son George I later became king).

However, Sophia was of German citizenship. This Act naturalized her and "the issue of her body" as British subjects.

However, the future-born children of Sophia could also claim to be the "issue of her body". This was first tested soon after World War II, when Ernest Augustus IV, Prince of Hanover (1914–1987, father of the current Ernst August of Hanover) successfully claimed British nationality on this basis (Attorney-General -v- HRH Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover [1957] 1 All ER 49) after considerable litigation.

Although the Act was repealed in 1949, it is still thought that some descendants of Sophia could lay claim to be a British subject, although most of these would apparently only be British Overseas citizens.

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