A new book about the British royal family has fuelled speculation that Prince William could opt out of being head of the Church of England when he becomes King. It’s entitled The Making Of A King: King Charles III And The Modern Monarchy.
Author Robert Hardman suggests that Prince William does not share the “unshakeable devotion” to the Church of his father and late grandmother Queen Elizabeth. Senior sources at Buckingham Palace told the author that: “His father is a very spiritual person and happy to talk about his faith, but the Prince is not. He doesn’t go to church every Sunday, but then nor do a large majority of the country. He might go at Easter and Christmas, but that’s it.” Mr. Hardman writes that Prince William may not wish to be Supreme Governor of the Church.
The Queen’s former chaplain, Gavin Ashenden, said he should either accept the role or make way for someone else to take it on. “William doesn’t show any signs of being alive to the vibrancy of Christian faith. And in that sense, he is very representative of his generation, but I don’t think he understands the monarchy because although lots of people have talked about disestablishing the Church of England and changing our constitutional arrangements, they’re immensely complex and they go back through 500 years of legislation. It would take an army of lawyers ten years to do it.”
“So I think he either has to accept the fact that this is a role he plays, whether he likes it or not, which is actually part of the burden of monarchy, or if he feels that strongly and he can’t do it, then step aside and abdicate and see if there’s somebody else in the Royal succession who can,” Mr. Ashenden asserted.
Royal officials deny Prince William is against being head of the church.
Premier Christian News reports the title of Supreme Governor has its roots in King Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church, but has been used formally by monarchs since the 1558 Act of Supremacy, enacted during the reign of Elizabeth I. The title is bound up with the Church’s status as the Established Church in England, and the monarch still gives Royal Assent to ecclesiastical laws.