The British Royal Family frequently has church-centred events and releases quite a few statements to honour Christmas.
But what religion do they actually practice? What religion do they actually belong to? Are they Catholic, Anglican, Christian?
Well, the true answer is more complicated than you might even think. Most people believe that the Royal Family is Catholic. But contrary to popular belief, the Royal Family is not at all Catholic. The Royals are the head of the Church of Great Britain. It is also a Protestant Anglican church and the Royal Family has been a part of this religion since the 16th century.
In fact, in the early stage of the monarch of England, it has held the additional title of ‘Defender of the Faith’ and ‘supreme governor of the Church of England’. The “Defender of the Faith” part of this title dates back to King Henry’s reign. He was given this name by Pope Leo X. In 1534, Henry VIII renounced the papacy. He broke all his ties with the Roman Catholic Church and renamed himself the supreme head of the Church of England.
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When Queen Elizabeth II took the British throne, she was automatically linked to the Church of England. It was that destiny that was already set. She was made a part of this religious ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury at her coronation in 1953. That time, in her coronation, she vowed to ‘maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England’.
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Queen Elizabeth, as a most important part of her duty to ‘defend the faith’ employs the help of the Prime Minister to appoint the archbishops, bishops, and deans of the Church. And in return, they with their whole heart and soul vow to pay homage to the Queen. As the British crown is so inherently tied to the Church of England, the Royal family has always been subjected to strict rules regarding their religion and culture.
According to the reports, until recently, it was against the law for a Royal Family member to marry a Roman Catholic unless they wanted to lose their position in line for the throne. Although this Royal marriage law changed in 2013.
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In order to actually rule the United Kingdom, you must and only be raised Anglican. In other, simple words, being a Royal, you can marry a Catholic but not be one yourself. This is only if you wish to be a King or Queen of the United Kingdom one day. It actually seems a bit harsh. But as the head of the Church of England, it indeed makes sense that you actually practice the Anglican religion.
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