Charles III, defender of all “faiths”

“The role and duties of the monarchy also remain, as does the special relationship and responsibility of the sovereign to the Church of England – the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted. In this faith and the values ​​it inspires, I was raised to cherish a sense of duty to others and to hold in the utmost respect the treasured traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and system of government. parliamentary. »

If Charles III reaffirmed his faith during his first speech as king, it is obvious that he did not conceive of his role as his mother, who embodied the permanence of a royalty of divine essence.

He has already freed himself from the tradition according to which the sovereign is the champion of the faith (“Protestant and Christian”) by confiding that, beyond being “Defender of the Faith” (“defender of the faith”, understood in Anglican language), he intended to become a “defender of faith”, defender of the faith in the general sense, protector of all the religions and denominations of the territory. Charles assumes what Elizabeth was doing in practice: guaranteeing the peaceful coexistence of all beliefs at a time when identity tensions were exacerbated.

As for his coronation, Charles had let it be known that, without abrogating the rites of anointing and the imposition of regalia (sceptre, orb, etc., all these objects having a meaning of Christian origin), the ceremony would include the other religions. An interreligious coronation, that is what, nowadays, makes sense, but which implies another ontology for the sovereign. From a monarchy of divine and Christian essence, we would pass to a monarchy whose sacredness refers to a deliberately evanescent and opportunely unifying deism.

Close to Islam, Judaism and Catholicism…

It is tempting to attach the label of syncretist to Charles’s spirituality. He is said to be close to Islam, he also appreciates Judaism and has even affirmed that the three monotheisms have “a lot in common” and “the future lies in the rediscovery of the universal truths at the heart of these religions”. He is also known to have a fascination for Indian mysticism. The South African-born writer Laurens van der Post, godfather of his son William, is said to have introduced him to animist spirituality.

On the Christian side, Charles III has always been close to Catholics. “I never felt he was uncomfortable in a Catholic church,” testified the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols. In 2017, Camilla and he met Francis at the Vatican, and Charles was present in St. Peter’s Square for the canonization of John Henry Newman, October 13, 2019. The day before, in the editorial he signed in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican daily, the future head of the Church of England wrote: “The canonization of John Henry Newman is a cause for celebration, not only for Catholics or for the British people, but for all those who “hold on to the values ​​which he inspires”. » And to conclude: “The world needs Cardinal Newman’s example more than ever. »

A good Anglican

On a trip to Jordan in 2021, Camilla and Charles reportedly brought back 72 bottles of Jordan water. According to tradition, British royal infants are baptized in this water, the one John the Baptist used for Jesus. Beyond folklore, many saw in it a spiritual approach, a form of return to Christian sources.

Finally, we notice the prince’s attraction to the Orthodox faith. He has stayed on Mount Athos several times, so much so that one of the monks believes that the prince is “Orthodox from the bottom of his heart”. Which recalls her grandmother Alice of Battenberg, who became a princess of Greece through her marriage, who had converted to Orthodoxy, before taking the veil and founding a religious order. This grandmother, torn between mysticism and schizophrenia, ended her days with the family of her youngest child, Philip, husband of Elizabeth, in Buckingham. Those close to Charles then saw fit to recall that the prince remained a good Anglican…

Charles III, defender of all “faiths”