It often feels like the Royal Industrial Complex is solely focused on being reactive to and performatively outraged by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. In truth, that is a huge part of their daily lives. But it’s not their sole focus, at least it’s not King Charles’s sole focus. Charles has gotten everything he ever wanted: he’s married to his old winebag and she is his queen clad in his dead grandmother’s jewelry. He is king and no one will ever overshadow him! Not only that, he gets to plan his dream coronation. For decades, Charles has done a significant amount of outreach within modern Britain’s multifaith communities. He’s always talked about wanting to de-emphasis the monarch’s role in a national Christian faith (the Church of England). He has longed to call himself the “Defender of Faith,” not the Defender of THE Faith.” So how will that play out in his coronation?
The King is expected to recognise that he serves all religious faiths and not just the Church of England when he speaks during his coronation. The coronation oath, in which he will pledge to be “Defender of the Faith”, will not change. However, palace aides and church officials are planning to add a form of words that will allow the King to recognise his commitment to the multiple faiths of a diverse Britain. While the specific details remain under discussion, it is thought that the additional wording would be included either before or after the oath.
The King has long worked to promote interfaith dialogue. In September, just days after he became monarch, he vowed to “protect the space for faith itself”, promising religious leaders during a Buckingham Palace reception that he would uphold the numerous “religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs to which our hearts and minds direct us”.
It had previously been reported that the King was considering altering the oath to make himself “Defender of Faith” or “Defender of the Faiths”, in recognition of his personal commitment to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and other religions. However, such a move would require a change in the law, for which there is not enough time ahead of the May 6 coronation. It is likely to be amended ahead of the coronation of the Prince of Wales.
Eh. I don’t have a problem with Charles making moves to recognize that the UK is a multifaith society and that his Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish subjects should all be recognized and appealed to (except for atheists, who are apparently out in the cold). I do think it’s weird that Charles can’t call himself the “defender of faith” without a change to the law, but that the law could be changed in time for Peg’s coronation? Like, how long would it honestly take to change the law?
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.