Is Queen Elizabeth II Catholic? What You Need to Know

Queen Elizabeth II Visits Frankfurt am Main

Queen Elizabeth II | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

As Britain’s reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II also holds the title of Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, but many people frequently question what her religion is.

Just because the royals attend Sunday morning mass and other church events, get their children baptized, and celebrate the holidays like Christmas. Many people automatically associate them with being Catholic, but is that the case or are they some other form of Christianity? Here’s what you need to know about the famous family’s religious beliefs and if they can marry anyone outside their religion.

Is Queen Elizabeth II Catholic?

Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the British Royal Family are not Catholic. Yes, despite popular belief they do not practice Catholicism.

According to The Sun, the royals are christened into the Church of England, which is a Protestant strain of Christianity. The Church actually broke with Roman Catholicism in the 16th century. The Church of England was created by Henry VIII in 1534 when he cut ties with the Catholic church because the Pope wouldn’t grant him an annulment from Catherine of Aragon.

Even though the Queen is acknowledged as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England today, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the head cleric of the church. At her coronation in 1953, Elizabeth II took the oath to “maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England.”

Can royals marry outside of their religion?

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images

A member of the royal family marrying anyone outside their religion was a big no-no for a long time. The Sun noted that it used to be against the law for anyone in the line of succession to the throne to marry a Catholic without losing their spot. Of course, we know the British royals to be laxer these days and that rule has been changed.

The new laws regarding royal succession state that one can marry a Catholic so long as the monarch is raised in the Church of England.

Meghan Markle converted

The younger generation of royals aren’t as outwardly religious as the older family members have been in the past, however, before she married Prince William, Kate Middleton was confirmed into the Church of England. Even though she had already been baptized, the now-Duchess of Cambridge chose to announce her confirmation prior to her 2011 royal wedding.

In 2018, Meghan Markle followed suit before she married Prince Harry when she was baptized and confirmed into the Church of England. There had been some confusion for some time over Markle’s religion. Turns out the former actress attended Catholic school but while her mother is a Protestant she was brought up an Episcopalian like her father, which is similar to the Church of England. Markle’s ceremony took place in March and was seen as a nod to Queen Elizabeth II’s role as the head of the Church of England.

Read more: Does Queen Elizabeth II Drink?

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