Former actress and future royal family member Meghan Markle has reportedly recently converted to Anglicanism through a private baptism by the Church of England, ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry.
Reports revealed that Markle had her baptism in secret and her confirmation soon followed. The baptism was done out of respect for Queen Elizabeth, her future husband's grandmother and the head of the Church of England.
The royals do not have to strictly marry an Anglican but Markle wanted to convert before the wedding on May 19. The baptism ceremony took place at St. James's Palace with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby presiding over the private affair. Welby will also preside over Markle and Prince Harry's wedding at Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel.
Markle was raised a Protestant while growing up in Los Angeles, California, with her mom. She went to a girls-only Catholic school and had a Jewish husband during her first marriage. Markle, however, did not convert to Judaism when she was Mrs. Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013.
After announcing their engagement in November 2017, royal watchers were concerned how Markle's divorce from Engelson would affect her union with Prince Harry in the Church of England. Welby, however, said that was not a problem.
"The Church of England has clear rules with dealing with that and we've dealt with that," Welby said. "We went through that as anyone would who will officiate at a wedding where someone has been separated and a partner is still living."
Converts to the Church of England usually go through a series of meetings with Welby and the other bishops before the baptism. They discuss God and the Christian faith, as well as other aspects of the religion with the intention of examining whether the person is really prepared for this life-changing choice.
It was not clear if Markle's parents, Thomas Markle Sr. and Doria Ragland, were present at the baptism ceremony but Prince Charles and his wife were said to have been in attendance.