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Author Topic: Religion and the royals  (Read 17988 times)
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bumbershoot

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« on: August 26, 2012, 04:23:26 AM »

Given that some of the kerfuffle over Harry's Las Vegas weekend have made allusions to the Queen's role as head of the Church of England,  a few questions about royals and religion surfaced in my mind.   

I have heard that Charles has said that when he is crowned, he would preferred to be named ``Defenders of Faiths'' rather than ``Defender of THE Faith,'' thereby acknowledging the religious diversity in the U.K. and the Commonwealth.  Is this a good idea? Do you think he'll be able to do it?  Or will his position as head of the Church of England triump that request?  And will the absolute bar on remaining in the British Royal Family's order of succession if one marries a Catholic remain?

Some of the royal families are pretty flexible about religion, it seems. Anne-Marie was raised Lutheran and became Greek Orthodox. Sophia was raised Greek Orthodox and became Roman Catholic. Maxima is Roman Catholic, yet agreed her daughters would be raised in the Dutch Reform Church.  Mary was a Presbyterian and is now a Lutheran, I believe. Was Marie Catholic? Is she still?

But on the other hand, the Reformation and the resulting Cathollic/Protestand divide has some built-in inflexibility. Some folks got kicked out of the Dutch Royal family's order of succession for marrying Catholics without permission. And several members of the British Royal family have had a similar fate.

Is this a big deal anymore with the increasing secularization of Europe? Do you think it will ever change? Which royal houses are most adamant about religion?
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cowgrrl

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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 07:12:52 AM »

I thought I read that there was talk of doing away with the ban on marrying Catholics. The argument was that technically one can marry a Muslim or a Buddhist & remain in the line so it's silly to keep the Catholic bit. It was part of the firstborn no matter the gender becomes ruler discussions.
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My13

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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 07:27:59 AM »

Good questions Thumb up

And will the absolute bar on remaining in the British Royal Family's order of succession if one marries a Catholic remain?

Probably not - the prime ministers of the 16 Commonwealth realms agreed to remove the bar last October. About time!

Some of the royal families are pretty flexible about religion, it seems. Anne-Marie was raised Lutheran and became Greek Orthodox. Sophia was raised Greek Orthodox and became Roman Catholic. Maxima is Roman Catholic, yet agreed her daughters would be raised in the Dutch Reform Church.  Mary was a Presbyterian and is now a Lutheran, I believe. Was Marie Catholic? Is she still?

Both Mary and Marie converted to Lutheranism. Princesses converting when they marry is actually nothing new - many were expected to.
 
Some folks got kicked out of the Dutch Royal family's order of succession for marrying Catholics without permission.

You mean Irene and Christina? They both lost their succession rights because they didn't get Parliament's permission, but it wasn't because their husbands were Catholics. Irene's husband was controversial because of his politics and Christina didn't ask for permission because she wanted to leave the royal house.

Is this a big deal anymore with the increasing secularization of Europe? Do you think it will ever change?


I think so. The Church of Sweden was disestablished in 2000 and the Church of Norway was disestablished earlier this year. I doubt the UK will follow suit any time soon, but it could happen 50 years from now. Europe is more and more secular, like you said - it would be the smart thing IMO.

Which royal houses are most adamant about religion?

Many of the European royals don't talk about their faith in public, but I've heard that Queen Sofía of Spain, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, King Harald of Norway, and Queen Silvia of Sweden are very religious. And we all know about Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and her angels Wink
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DowntownTO

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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 07:39:40 AM »

The necessary changes to the 1701 Act of Settlement, the Bill of Rights 1688, the Coronation Oath Act 1688, and the Royal Marriages Act 1772, were agreed to in principle at the Commonwealth meeting but they have not actually been made yet. I read somewhere that the UK government intends to introduce the legislation requied to change those Acts this fall, so let's see what happens.

If I'm understanding all this correctly, male-preference primogeniture is a matter of common law or custom, rather than statute, so that the change to simple primogeniture could be made at any time. I think it's silly, however, to restrict the change to the descendants of Prince Charles. Suppose neither William nor Harry has children? Or their lines fail at some time in the future? Then we'd be right back to male-preference primogeniture and the government of the day would have to fix it again. It seems clear that the change is being worded so narrowly in order to tip-toe around Princess Anne, but IMO it would be better to make a thorough job of it by specifying that simple primogeniture will apply to all descendants of, say, George V or Edward VII, except that the descendants of Princess Anne will come after the descendants of the Earl of Wessex.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 07:59:46 AM by DowntownTO » Logged
My13

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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 07:46:59 AM »

I read somewhere that the UK government intends to introduce the legislation requied to change those Acts this fall, so let's see what happens.

Hopefully, but their business plan says they may not introduce the legislation until May 2013 Crap

http://www.number10.gov.u...O-2012-Business-Plan1.pdf

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DowntownTO

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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 08:01:17 AM »

I read somewhere that the UK government intends to introduce the legislation requied to change those Acts this fall, so let's see what happens.

Hopefully, but their business plan says they may not introduce the legislation until May 2013 Crap

http://www.number10.gov.u...O-2012-Business-Plan1.pdf

I have to say that I'm sceptical about its chances. I think the date will slip and slip and slip . . .
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tatty

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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 08:34:19 AM »

If Charles is crowned as Head of the Church of England it will be the biggest show of hypocrisy I'll ever witness and I would be outraged.
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luvcharles

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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2012, 08:51:52 AM »

Why?

Considering how the Church of England was founded - because a man wanted a divorce and then proceeded to have another five wives, that other monarchs and Supreme Governors have had multiple mistresses etc.

Charles made one mistake - in marrying the wrong woman, has publicly confessed that he did wrong (something his first wife never did - admitted yes but confessed in a church publicly before the world - no).  Charles II had mulitiple mistresses and constantly embarrassed his wife - still became King.  George I had his wife locked up because she cheated on him and didn't allow her to see their children but he was crowned King and became Supreme Governor of the CoE.  George IV actually slammed the door of Westminster Abbey in the face of his wife and Queen after having tried to have her convicted of adultery (or actually treason as it is treason for the wife of the monarch or heir to the throne to sleep with someone other than her husband - regardless of the fairness the law is clear  1351 Treason Act - actually the woman is guilty of aiding and abetting the act of treason, unless she calls rape - but the penalty for aiding and  abetting a crime is the same as actually committing the crime in the first place), Edward VII had his former and current mistresses given special seats in the Abbey.

When you look at earlier Kings who have been crowned and consequently became Supreme Governor of the Church of England Charles is almost a paragon of virtue. 
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tatty

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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2012, 09:04:46 AM »

I don't care what happened with historic Monarchs of the past - that's like saying Charles can have Camilla murdered at will, because that's what Henry VIII did.

This is a different time and things have changed beyond imagination since then.

Charles did not simply make one mistake and then correct it - Camilla was not his only mistress - it was an evident and prolonged pattern of behaviour with runs counter to the teachings of the Church.

Diana's actions are of no consequence to this situation as it is Charles who will be King and possibly head of the Church, the actions of others have no bearing on that.

I dare say the right-wing of the establishment will simply overlook everything just to "maintain tradition" - that in itself is of gross hypocrisy.

Scoff, Scoff, Scoff - is all I have to say to that!!!
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bumbershoot

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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2012, 08:15:49 PM »

So should the Church of England become disestablished?  Should the monarch not be installed as Defender of the Faith? For that matter, should the coronation become an entirely secular event? I think these are interesting questions, particularly in light of both the growing secularization and the increasingly multicultural nature of the U.K. and Commonwealth.

And just how serious are member of the Royal Family about their religion anyway? I often wonder if those parades of the British Royal Family to the Crathie Kirk and to St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham are for form's sake only. (This is not true of the Queen, of course, who I know takes her religious commitment very seriously). But what about the rest of them?

Do Charles and Camilla show up every Sunday at some country church near Highgrove? Does Andrew haul himself out of bed on a Sunday morning for anything but a golf game if he's not at Sandringham or Balmoral? Do the Yorkie girls ever go to church for anything but a wedding or to accompany Granny?

I know that Kate was confirmed shortly before the engagement was announced. Is she known to have religious enthusiasms?  I don't know what the situation is for the Church of England, but I rather thought that most denominations administer confirmation to adolescents, for the most part.   
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Little_star
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 12:35:38 AM »

If Charles is crowned as Head of the Church of England it will be the biggest show of hypocrisy I'll ever witness and I would be outraged.

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Summer

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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 01:40:52 AM »

The idea that someone is required to change their religion in order to get married bothers me.   

Joining a religion in order to make your spouse/their family happy IMO makes a mockery of faith because the convert  isn't coming to the religion as a believer, instead they are joining for convenience.   Just seems like a horrible lie to me.
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LucyintheSky

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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 05:52:36 AM »

If Charles is crowned as Head of the Church of England it will be the biggest show of hypocrisy I'll ever witness and I would be outraged.

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I'm lining up behind this^^    Star Star
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Chrissie

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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 10:44:56 AM »

The idea that someone is required to change their religion in order to get married bothers me.   

Joining a religion in order to make your spouse/their family happy IMO makes a mockery of faith because the convert  isn't coming to the religion as a believer, instead they are joining for convenience.   Just seems like a horrible lie to me.

In the past it was political more than anything, they needed good weather with Rome and the heads of church in their country to keep that power base happy with them. There are plenty of cases where people converted two or three times, back and forth, depending on what was the most opportune religion to have at the time.

Nowadays, though... does it really matter which imaginary friend in the sky your spouse is talking to?

Jedi knights and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are acknowledged religions these days. Someone royal needs to be persuaded to declare that he or she believes in the Force. 
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bumbershoot

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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2012, 12:12:33 AM »

Well, I'm wondering if things with Rome are just the tiniest bit tickleish right now, what with the Vatican's open arms to Anglicans who have issues around the ordination of women, gays and the sanctioning of gay marriage.  So maybe there will be a desire for Charles to be proclaimed head of the Church of England.  I do agree that the Flying Spaghetti Monster does have a growing number of adherents. But, at bottom, I think it's generally the growing secularization of civil society that makes having an established church -- and having a king installed as its head -- sound a touch anachronistic. 
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