The Irishman Who Would Be King
By Frank Murphy, Contributor
October / November 2002
It may sound like a joke. But an Irishman could be the future King of England.
Hard to believe? Yes. Far-fetched? Maybe. But in theory, it is a possibility.
Admittedly, it would take quite a few deaths and a change in the law before it could happen.
But in that case, Aaron Long whose parents are from Crosshaven, Co. Cork, could be on the British throne.
Aaron is the husband-to-be of Norwegian beauty Raggi Lorentzen, 34. She runs her own brewery and owns a tapas bar in San Francisco. He is currently between jobs.
But, as well as a businesswoman, Raggi – just like Queen Elizabeth – is the great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
And that fact makes her 66th in line to the British throne.
It may require a major wipe-out of the 65 royals ahead of her before Raggi gets to live at Buckingham Palace.
But the fact is that her decision to marry an Irish Catholic means she will have to forfeit her claim to the crown.
Under the 300-year-old Act of Settlement, Catholics have been banned from sitting on the British throne. It is an Act which Catholic Labour MP Kevin McNamara is seeking to have amended or repealed. Under the Act “all and every person and persons that then were, or afterwards should be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with the see of Church of Rome or should profess the popish religion, or marry a papist, should be excluded, and made forever incapable to inherit, possess or enjoy the Crown and government of this realm.”
Raggi, the granddaughter of King Olav of Norway, is thinking positive about having to give up any claim to the British throne if she marries Aaron. She said: “It’s not that I want to give up my right to be queen, it’s just that I love my boyfriend more.
“I think the rule preventing royalty marrying Catholics is ridiculous. It’s like living in the dark ages.
“But that’s it; as far as I am concerned I’m going to marry an Irish Catholic and forfeit my right to the throne.”
Aaron added: “I’m going to go down in history as the Irishman who prevented the United Kingdom from having Raggi as queen.”
Aaron’s parents began a new life in the U.S. after leaving Cork in 1965 for a planned 12-month honeymoon.
He said: “Things never worked out that way. They arrived in San Francisco and never left. My father lived in a house called Ballinluska House. It is right on Myrtleville Beach and we go and stay there in the summer. We are a traditional family. We go to church regularly and we followed Ireland’s progress in the World Cup avidly.
“Dad was a carpenter and got some work out here immediately. My mum was a housewife and gave birth to me a year after leaving Ireland.”
Raggi, on the other hand, was born and brought up in Brazil – in Rio de Janeiro – where her mother, Princess Ragnhild, and her husband moved more than 50 years ago.
Raggi studied in San Francisco and spent inheritance money from her grandfather to open her tapas bar.
She said: “I guess you could say part of Queen Victoria lives on inside a Spanish restaurant in San Francisco.
“When my grandfather was king, I used to go back home with my mother and stay in the royal palace in Oslo.
“It was what you would expect a typical royal palace to be like. It was really lavish and extravagant with lots of gold around the place.”
Raggi and Aaron met five years ago at a party. She decided at first to keep quiet about her aristocratic roots.
Raggi said: “There was an instant attraction. But I didn’t want to tell him straightaway about my royal ancestry. I didn’t want to scare him off.” ♦