Meghan Markle, soon to marry into the British royal family, was baptised and confirmed last week by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The dual ceremony took place at St. James’s Palace in London on March 6. According to reports Prince Charles attended with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

The marriage of Prince Harry to the previously divorced actress is an indication of change in British church and society. The actress was married to film producer Trevor Engelson, but the union ended in 2013. It is understood the Archbishop of Canterbury gave the couple his blessing and he will perform the wedding ceremony in Windsor on May 19.

In December 1936 King Edward VIII gave up the throne to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. Likewise in the 1950s, Princess Margaret, younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, was prevented from marrying the divorced Captain Peter Townsend.

The former Suits actress is under no compulsion to become an Anglican to marry Prince Harry. It is understood her decision was taken as a mark of respect to Queen Elizabeth, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Markle to now has identified “Protestant” even though she attended a Catholic school. Her father, Thomas Markle, is an Episcopalian.

John Martin

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