Prince Charles' coronation must remove Christian rituals, think tank recommends

Christian rituals should no longer be included in Prince Charles' coronation, a respected U.K. think tank has recommended.

(Reuters/Steve Parsons/Pool)Britain's Prince Charles speaks during a visit to the YouTube Space in Kings Cross, London, Britain, May 16, 2018.

In a report that the University College London's Constitution Unit published, experts highlighted on the growing need for the British monarchy to embrace different faiths as the United Kingdom's religious climate has significantly changed since Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953.

"Half the population now has no religious affiliation whilst the number belonging to non-Christian religions has grown to six per cent," the experts wrote in the report. "Instead of featuring peers in ermine and coronets, a modern version of the medieval act of homage could involve the participation of civil society," the experts suggested.

When Queen Elizabeth was crowned more than 50 years ago, she took three oaths based on established rules for the monarchy that dated back to the 1600s and 1700s.

The Scottish oath professed her loyalty to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The Accession Declaration oath declared her faithfulness as a Protestant. The coronation oath committed the Queen to the Church of England.

Dr. Bob Morris, who wrote the report alongside Professor Robert Hazell, told Premiere that since the U.K. is no longer composed of Anglican Christians compared to decades or centuries ago, then the coronation should acknowledge this diversity.

"It will define not just the monarchy, but the whole nation whom the monarch is to represent," Morris said.

Some experts, however, oppose the think tank's recommendation. The Dean of Westminster Wesley Carr said that the importance of the Eucharist must be featured in a coronation and removing the Christian aspect would break the structure that defined why there must be a coronation in the first place.

Meanwhile, speaking to BBC years ago, Prince Charles said that he would rather be named "Defender of Faith" instead of "Defender of the Faith" when he becomes the King after his mother. He cited the need to pay attention to the "inclusion of other people's faiths and their freedom to worship."