Royal Family

Prince William Could Break A Centuries-Old Royal Tradition

It dates back to the 1500s.

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Prince William, Prince of Wales.

Prince William might break a long-standing royal tradition when he is crowned king.

In an excerpt from royal biographer Robert Hardman’s new book, The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, obtained by the Daily Mail, Hardman speculates that the Prince of Wales might reject the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England when he ascends to the throne.

The title has been awarded to British sovereigns since King Henry VIII’s reign in the 1530s. However, according to the book, Prince William doesn’t hold the same dedication to the Anglican Church as his father, King Charles III, or his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince William. Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

“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 writes in an excerpt published by the Daily Mail.

“His father is very spiritual and happy to talk about faith but the Prince is not. He doesn’t go to church every Sunday, but then nor do the large majority of the country. He might go at Christmas and Easter but that’s it,” the author adds.

King Charles III at his coronation ceremony. BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

King Charles’ Faith Is “Deeply Rooted”

While Prince William may not accept the Supreme Governor title, the author emphasizes that he “very much respects the institutions” of the British monarchy, but is “not instinctively comfortable in a faith environment.”

King Charles III became Supreme Governor of the Church of England after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, in September 2022. In his first speech as king, Charles said his faith is “deeply rooted” in the Anglican Church.

Princess Charlotte, Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Mia Tindall attend a church service. Stephen Pond/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Although William’s future reign may not be quite as faith-driven, the senior royal attended the monarchy’s annual church service at St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham on Christmas Day 2023.

Along with the king and Queen Camilla, the Prince of Wales stopped by the service with his wife, Kate Middleton, and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — whose Christmas Day outfit marked a royal first.

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