A new biography claims Prince William, heir to the throne, might break tradition by severing ties with the Church of England when he becomes king. Biographer Robert Hardman quotes palace insiders saying William isn’t as devout as some might assume, making him potentially the first monarch in 500 years not to be the church’s head, according to a report by the New York Post.
While the book hasn’t hit shelves yet, it’s already stirring debate about whether the future King will usher in a new era for the British monarchy and its religious role.
“In royal circles, it is no secret that he does not share the king’s sense of the spiritual, let alone the late queen’s unshakeable devotion to the Anglican church,” Hardman, 59, writes of William in “The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy.”
“His father is very spiritual and happy to talk about faith, but the prince is not,” the official told Hardman. “He doesn’t go to church every Sunday, but neither does the large majority of the country. He might go at Christmas and Easter, but that’s it.”
“He very much respects the institutions, but he is not instinctively comfortable in a faith environment,” Hardman’s source alleges.
The news portal reported that Prince William attended a Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham alongside his wife, Kate Middleton, and their three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.
In 1534, King Henry VIII of England decided that the country should have its own church, called the Church of England. This happened because the pope didn’t allow Henry to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. So, Henry created a new church where he could make his own rules. According to the law in Britain, whoever becomes the king or queen also becomes the leader of the Church of England.