Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex was very busy before her May 19 wedding to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to say the least. From dealing with numerous family issues to participating in an endless stream of pre-wedding traditions, Meghan was on the go for weeks. But one of the lesser talked about things Meghan had to complete before her nuptials was a religious conversion. Yep, Meghan Markle converted religions before she said "I do" at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. But was Meghan forced to make the change? The answer is a big no. Meghan reportedly made the decision out of respect for her new family.
Before I get into Meghan's conversion, it's important to note what religion Harry and the royals follow. The easiest answer (believe me, this stuff can be complicated) is that Harry and his family members are Protestant, according to The Sun. To be more specific, however, all of the royals were baptized and christened in the Church of England — a Protestant Anglican Church founded in 1534. And interestingly enough, the Queen of the United Kingdom holds the title of "Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England," according to the royal family's website. Sounds important.
As for Meghan, she also grew up Protestant, according to the Daily Mail. Although Meghan did attend Catholic high school as a teenager living in Los Angeles, she never practiced Catholicism.
So, since Harry and Meghan are both Protestants, one would think that no conversion would be necessary. The answer is: yes and no. To put it simply, Meghan wasn't baptized or confirmed in the Church of England, meaning that she wasn't raised in Harry's faith. Although there would have been nothing preventing Meghan from marrying Harry given their Protestant backgrounds, she wouldn't have been able to participate in certain religious aspects of their wedding ceremony if she didn't convert to the Anglican faith. Not to mention, every person in the royal family is a member of the Church of England, and one would imagine it might have been a bit awkward if Meghan didn't make the change.
It's important to mention, however, that Meghan wasn't forced to convert. The choice was made when Meghan and Harry announced their engagement, and the Duchess was baptized in early March, according to CNN. The ceremony took about 45 minutes, and Prince Charles, Prince Of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall were in attendance for the event, according to the Daily Mail. The big takeaway here is that Meghan went through with the conversion to respect the Queen and her important role in the Church of England. What a meaningful gesture.
Of course, Meghan's conversion shouldn't come as a surprise to people who've followed her love story from the jump. Meghan is all about respecting her new in-laws, and it's clear she doesn't want to step on any toes. In fact, Meghan said as much in an interview shortly after she received a ring from Harry.
“It’s incredible. I think to be able to meet her [the Queen] through his lens, not just with his honor and respect for her as the monarch but the love that he has for her as his grandmother, all of those layers have been so important for me," Meghan said about meeting the Queen, according to Harper's Bazaar. "When I met her I had such a deep understanding and, of course, incredible respect for being able to have that time with her, and she’s an incredible woman.”
All in all, it seems like Meghan made the best decision for herself as a new member of the royal family. When it comes to the royals, after all, it's all about respecting tradition.