The United Kingdom’s royal family was in full display at the recent marriage of Prince Harry and American born actress Meghan Markle, now referred to as the Duchess of Sussex, on May 19, 2018.
Queen Elizabeth II, now 92 years old, was in attendance. The rare royal event reminded everyone once again that Prince Charles will one day replace his mother as the British monarch. Some are already pondering what the Prince of Wales’s coronation ceremony might look like. University College London’s Constitution Unit hopes this monumental event will be void of Christian traditions.
In a new report, the United Kingdom think tank said, “The UK is no longer a global or a colonial power. Celebration will therefore need to reflect what the UK has become rather than what it once was. However welcoming to other faiths, a wholly Anglican coronation service is no longer capable of reflecting or responding to modern British society.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury conducts the coronation ceremony. During previous coronation events, this principal leader of the Church of England has anointed the monarch with oil, given communion, and led the Monarch in pledging his or her obedience to God in a sequence of oaths. While proclaiming the oaths, the monarch has acknowledged he or she is a “faithful Protestant,” and will continue to sustain the church.
Citing that half of the people residing in the United Kingdom have “no religious affiliation,” University London’s Constitution Unit argued for change to the coronation ceremony in its recent report. The document went so far as to suggest a second non-Christian event could occur at Westminster Hall to honor the religious diversity of the United Kingdom.
However, not everyone agrees with the liberal think tank’s desire to change the next coronation ceremony. A previous Dean of Westminster, Wesley Carr, feels strongly that the event should stay Anglican and has underscored the significance of the Eucharist. He’s stated, “To plan a coronation without a Eucharist would require a massive break with history. That alone would imply a long study of the intention behind a coronation at all, its venue and basic structure.”
In his book God Save the Queen: The Spiritual Heart of the Monarchy, Dr. Ian Bradley, a minister in the Church of Scotland, wrote, “It involves symbolizing spiritual values, embodying the sacred, representing and defending religious faith against unbelief and secular materialism, promoting order in the midst of chaos standing for the public good against private gain, and acting as a focal point for unity in a society which is increasingly fragmented and fissiparous.”
At this point, no one really knows what the Prince of Wales’s coronation ceremony will look like. This especially rings true due to the fact that the event will be the first of its kind in more than six decades.
Through the years, Prince Charles hasn’t publicly divulged much about his personal relationship with God. However, he’s been a decisive advocate for Christians who experience persecution due to their faith. On Good Friday of this year, the Prince of Wales released an Easter message that was recorded at his London residence of Clarence House. In the recording, Prince Charles implored that Christians, Jews, and Muslims be freed from the “barbaric grip of those who distort and misrepresent faith.”
The future King of the United Kingdom mentioned that those being persecuted for their faith must not be forgotten. He said that Christians attempting to escape danger “for their faith and for their life” were “in our prayers”.
The Prince of Wales went on to add, “This Easter I want to salute the fortitude of all those who, whatever their faith, are persecuted for remaining faithful to the true essence of their beliefs…I admire, and greatly respect, all those of you who find it in your hearts to pray for those who persecute you and, following the example of Christ, seek forgiveness for your enemies.”
~ 1776 Christian