Letter: A remarried Prince and the church

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The Independent Online
Sir: I can see no reason why the remarriage of the Prince should by itself compromise his eventual status as Supreme Governor of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith. Such an event would no doubt be distasteful to many of my Anglican co-religionists. Others might welcome it as preferable to the present situation which encourages scurrilous rumour. However, the Prince's remarriage would have no legal effect on church-state relations.

A church which was founded by the frequently married Henry VIII, which accepted the accession of the divorced George I, and which turned a blind eye to the many infidelities of the Hanoverians, is in no position to adopt an ultra-pure attitude. A substantial number of clergy are today themselves divorced and remarried.

There might be difficulties over who might conduct the marriage service. But the Princess Royal has set a Scottish precedent which could no doubt be followed.

Disestablishment should be decided on its merits. As a major constitutional change - at least for England - any proposal should be the subject of a referendum.

STEPHEN G LINSTEAD

Solihull, West Midlands

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