- Reuters/Stefan Wermuth
- The Queen might not attend Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle.
- The Queen is head of the Church of England, which teaches that marriage is for life.
- As this is Meghan Markle’s second wedding, the Queen may feel uncomfortable witnessing a divorcee’s marriage.
- This stopped her from attending Prince Charles’ second marriage in 2005.
- At the time, the Queen reportedly said: “I am not able to go … I do not feel that my position permits it.”
The world is frenzied with excitement over Prince Harry’s proposal to Meghan Markle.
When the engagement was publicly announced Monday morning, the Queen was amongst the first to give her blessing to the happy couple, saying she was “delighted.”
Whether the Queen will actually attend the wedding ceremony, however, is unclear.
As the British monarch, the Queen is also the head of the Church of England. The Church of England teaches that marriage is for life, and divorce is not encouraged. Clergy are urged to think carefully before remarrying a couple.
As Meghan Markle is a divorcee, the Queen may not feel she can attend or witness Markle’s second marriage – even if it is to her grandson.
This wouldn’t be the Queen’s first time skipping a family member’s wedding ceremony because of a past divorce. The Queen’s son and first in line to the throne, Prince Charles, wed Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005. Both had previously been married, and the Queen skipped the ceremony, only attending the reception afterwards.
“I am not able to go,” the Queen told a friend at the time, according to The Telegraph.
“I do not feel that my position [as Supreme Governor of the Church] permits it,” she reportedly said.
The friend told The Telegraph that the Queen “feels she has to put her role with the Church before her role as a mother.”
“The Queen takes her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England incredibly seriously,” the friend said. “She also has great personal faith.”
- Getty Images
Markle’s status as a divorcee could also affect the couple’s choice of venue.
Historically, the Church of England wouldn’t let divorced people marry again in one of its churches. That law, however, was revoked in 2002. As a result, venues such as Westminster Abbey – where the Queen and Prince William married their respective spouses – and St. Paul’s Cathedral – where Prince Charles married Princess Diana in 1981 – are now both available to Prince Harry and Markle.
Whether the couple will choose such a grand venue is up for debate, as Harry has reportedly said he’d rather have a smaller affair.
On Monday morning, the couple announced that they would marry next spring, though an exact date has yet to be announced. Prime Minister Theresa May has publicly said there are no plans for a national holiday to celebrate the nuptials.