There’s no doubt that the royal wedding has been one of the most anticipated events of the year, and millions of people around the world will be tuning in to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle finally tie the royal knot. This union stands apart from royal weddings of the past, because Meghan Markle is the first all-American girl to marry into the British royal family. Speculation about her life and past have saturated the headlines for the past year, and with her entering into a new faith for her marriage, people are wondering, what religion is Meghan Markle?
There have been numerous rumors about Markle’s faith and upbringing, but a report from Good Housekeeping confirms that she was raised as an Episcopalian, a denomination of both the Protestant and Catholic church. The report further noted that Markle attended a Roman Catholic High School, and then married Trevor Engelson who was was of the Jewish faith. While many rumors swirled that she had converted to Judaism, the report confirmed that she had not.
Although she has not publicly identified her religious affiliation, the Daily Express noted that her father, Thomas Markle Senior, was a member of the Episcopal Church of the United States and of the Anglican Communion. Her mother, Doria Ragland is a member of the Protestant church, the second most popular form of Christianity in the world. Her parents divorced when she was 6 years old, the article explained, but both are expected to attend their daughter’s upcoming wedding.
Believe it or not, religion plays a big part in the royal family, and Markle has actually converted to the religion of the royal family. This past March, the Daily Mail reported that Markle had been secretly baptized into the Church of England in a 45-minute ceremony at the Chapel Royal under the Archbishop of Canterbury. The report mentioned that she was accompanied by Prince Harry and that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the ceremony as well.
When you think of the royal family, you probably notice more of the pageantry and protocol above everything else, but throughout history, religion has been one of the most central aspects of the British monarchy. From the time of Henry VIII (the 1530s), every monarch of the British royal family has been appointed as the head of the Church of England, noted Project Britain, and has the authority to appoint bishops and archbishops within the church. So along with being a Head of State and Head of the Armed Forces, the Queen is also a religious figure head in Britain.
It was because of the Queen’s role as Head of the Church of England that Meghan Markle decided to be baptised. The Daily Mail mentioned that out of respect for her soon to be grandmother-in-law’s position in the Church, she chose to be baptised and confirmed when she got engaged to Prince Harry. She was given all the details about the various sacraments and rituals through the Archbishop, Justin Welby, for a few weeks leading up to her baptism and confirmation. The Daily Mail further explained that because Markle is now a member of the Church of England, she will be able to attend Holy Communion with Prince Harry after they are married.
The royal wedding is set to be held on May 19, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, and the ceremony will be conducted by David Connor, the Dean of Windsor, and presided by the Archbishop. You can catch the royal nuptials on CBS starting at 7 a.m. EST, with additional coverage beginning three hours before it.