King Charles III and Securing the True Protestant Religion
Published September 10, 2022With the death of Queen Elizabeth II the United Kingdom and a watching world are preparing for a lot of royal pageantry. It's a pageantry that comes with a lot of history and even a little bit of theology. This morning in London, according to an old tradition dating back centuries, King Charles III was officially proclaimed King in the presence of the Ascension Council. For the first time in history people were able to view the event and the simple but profound process by which this is done. With impressive activities and ceremonies the proclamation of the new monarchy will be made throughout the country.
One of the first things King Charles III did — and it was his stated intention to do so at the first opportunity — was to make a formal oath to the security of the Church of Scotland. He did so in the following words:
I, Charles the Third, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of My other Realms and Territories, King, Defender of the Faith, do faithfully promise and swear that I shall inviolably maintain and preserve the Settlement of the true Protestant Religion as established by the Laws made in Scotland in prosecution of the Claim of Right and particularly by an Act intituled “An Act for securing the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government” and by the Acts passed in the Parliament of both Kingdom for Union of the two Kingdoms, together with the Government, Worship, Discipline, Rights and Privileges of the Church of Scotland. So help me God.
What does all of this mean? As King of the United Kingdom, Charles III bears the title “Defender of the Faith.” As such, he is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. By and large this position is mostly ceremonial and symbolic. However, even as the titular head of the Church of England, King Charles III will appoint high-ranking members of the church.