There is a chance Prince Charles could change a profoundly Christian part of the coronation service when he becomes king, according to religion experts.
Upon the death of Her Majesty, Charles will become king. And during his coronation service, he will be given the title “Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England”.
While the Queen speaks of the personal significance of faith, Charles is known speaks for more unconventional approach to religion. In addition to attending a Greek Orthodox retreat every year, he has also displaced the Church of England by talking of his desire to be crowned a “Defender of Faith”, to encompass all religions.
BBC Radio 4’s ‘Beyond Belief’, hosted by Ernie Rea, discussed the religious significance of coronation.
The programme, heard from Reverend Dr Judith Maltby. He is a reader in Church History at the University of Oxford. Rev Dr Maltby said: “One of the interesting things about the history of the coronation service is that it isn’t really a static history”.
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“There isn’t one template that has been used over and over again. It gets revised and moderated and modified every time. I was really struck reading the coronation service recently. I’d completely forgotten that it’s done in the context of a service of holy communion. Actually, it’s profoundly Christian”.
Whether it will be the next time is another issue!?
Rev Dr Malty agreed, saying: “That’s exactly the question here. There was a non-Anglican Christian representation in the last coronation. And indeed in the coronation of Elizabeth’s father. I can’t see the next coronation not having multi-faith participation”.
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Most recently, Prince Charles has said he will retain the monarch’s traditional title as “Defender of the Faith” as King. While, ensuring that other people’s faiths can also be practised.
However, there were a lot of debates that arose from time to time.
In 2017, their Disestablishment Report argued that: “Charles’s accession to the throne will offer a particularly opportune moment to move forward on separating Church and State”.
The NSS said: “The UK is the only democracy to have such an explicitly Christian ceremony for its head of state’s accession. It also has sectarian anti-Catholic overtones”.