King Charles wants pledge to all religions at coronation

It is expected that reference to ‘defender of the faith’ will remain in the coronation ceremony

King Charles III has long expressed an interest in supporting other faiths.  AFP
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King Charles III is looking at ways to recognise that he will serve multiple faiths, according to sources at Buckingham Palace.

In the coronation oath, the monarch pledges to serve the Church of England during a ceremony to be performed at Westminster Abbey, but royal and church officials are planning to recognise the new king’s commitment to all religious faiths, the Telegraph reported.

It is expected that the reference to “defender of the faith” will remain in the coronation.

However, the king has long expressed an interest in serving other faiths.

In 1994, when he was the Prince of Wales, he said he wanted to be a “defender of faith”, meaning multiple religions and not just the Church of England.

In 2015, he said: “I mind about the inclusion of other people’s faiths and their freedom to worship in this country. And it’s always seemed to me that, while at the same time being Defender of the Faith, you can also be protector of faiths.”

In September, he said he would “protect the space for faith itself” and promised to uphold numerous “religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs.”

The considerations being made inside King Charles’ office are updates to a ceremony that goes back centuries, with the last one being the late Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.

The Constitution Unit at University College London, in its report called “Swearing in the New King: The Accession and Coronation Oaths”, recommended that the new king swear to defend all religions.

The report said the oath taken by Queen Elizabeth, to be “defender of the faith upholding the rights of the Church of England”, did not suit 21st century Britain.

The change to the coronation oath would help reflect the UK's multicultural society, it said.

Officials at Buckingham Palace and Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, declined to comment.

In one of the annual royal traditions, the king and Queen Consort Camilla shared their Christmas card on Monday.

The photograph was taken at the Braemar Royal Highland Gathering by award-winning photographer Sam Hussein.

Updated: December 13, 2022, 1:25 PM