What religion is the Royal Family and what is the Church of England? – The Sun

THE Royal Family are known to be members of Church of England, which has been an importnat part of British history for almost 500 years.

Although these days you might not immediately think about religion when you think about the Royal family, the two have always been linked.


King Charles is head of the Church of EnglandCredit: AFP

What religion is the Royal Family?

Both King Charles III and his late mother Queen Elizabeth II have mentioned the importance of religion during their public addresses.

Britain’s presiding monarch is the head of the Church of England and all members of the Royal Family are christened into the Church of England.

The Church of England is a Protestant strain of Christianity.

King Charles is the head of the church, and the Defender of the Faith.


During her 1953 Coronation, the late Queen Elizabeth II was anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and took an oath to “maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England”.

At his coronation, Charles’ oath included the words: “I Charles do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God profess, testify,
and declare that I am a faithful Protestant, and that I will, according to the true intent of the enactments which secure the Protestant succession to the Throne, uphold and maintain the said enactments to the best of my powers according to law.”

In his role as monarch, King Charles will assist UK Prime Ministers in the appointment of any new Archbishops, Dukes or Deans.

The Queen professed a personal Christian faith in her Christmas speeches.

Can the royals marry outside the Church of England?

Because the Royal Family is so tied to the Church of England, there are very strict rules regarding religion.

In 2015, a law came in that allowed a royal to marry a Roman Catholic.

New rules on royal succession were brought into play, which disregarded male bias and said a future leader could marry a Catholic.

However, the monarch themselves must be raised as a follower of the Church of England.

The rules were rushed through Parliament in 2013, ahead of Prince George’s birth, but didn’t take effect for another two years.

What is the Church of England and when was it established?

Henry VIII established the Church of England in 1534, over a row with the Pope about his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

The British King wanted the Pope to grant him an annulment on the grounds that the marriage was illegal and incestuous because Catherine was the widow of his dead brother, Arthur.

Because of this, and after a number of attempts from Henry to persuade him, he decided to split from Rome and form his own church.

He was the supreme leader of the Church of England and separated the country from papal religious authority.

When Henry’s first born Mary I took to the throne, following her younger brother Edward VI’s six-year reign, she was determined to make Britain Catholic again.

In only three years, she burned hundreds of Protestants at the stake, a move that earnt her the title of Bloody Mary.

Her fruitless hopes of reinstating the Catholic Church died with her in 1558, when Queen Elizabeth I taking the throne.

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