Monday, August 21, 2017

Meghan Markle's religion or no religion

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Speculation continues to grow about an engagement between Prince Harry of Wales, and American actress Meghan Markle.

The Sunday Express' Camilla Tominey broke the story about the then burgeoning romance in October 2016.    Since that time, there have been a number of stories about Miss Markle's religion.   Is she Jewish or Catholic or ...fill in the blank.

For some months, Meghan's older half sister, Samantha, followed me on Twitter, and we engaged in several conversations.  Samantha is not a fan of Meghan, and has made rather rude comments about her.

In May, Samantha and I talked about Meghan's religion.  This conversation came about after one of the tabloids published photos from Meghan's wedding to producer Trevor Engelson.  They starting dating in 2004 and became engaged six year later.   Their wedding took place on September 10, 2011 at the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  They separated only two years later, and were divorced in 2013, citing “irreconcilable differences”.

Engelson is Jewish, and there is speculation that their wedding was Jewish ceremony.  This is based on one photo showing the couple taking part in the Hora (chair dance), which normally takes place at the start of the reception.

I am not convinced that Meghan and Trevor had a Jewish wedding as one guest noted that  "the ceremony was over very quickly, in about 15 minutes."

Jewish wedding ceremonies take longer than 15 minutes, at least the ones that I have attended.

I believe that the couple were married in a civil ceremony, but included the Hora at the reception.

UPDATE:  It appears that Meghan Markle's first marriage was a civil ceremony, perhaps in Los Angeles on August 16, 2011.  This information can be found in Meghan's divorce application.  The Jamaica event was probably a wedding celebration party.

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This brings me back to Miss Markle's religion and the conversation that I had in May with her half-sister.

Samantha Markle told me that their father, Thomas Markle, is not Jewish, but Episcopalian.  She does not believe that Meghan's mother, Doria, is Roman Catholic. She does not know if Doria is a member of any church.

Meghan's parents. Thomas Wayne Markle and Doria Loyce Ragland, married on December 23, 1979 at the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple in Los Angeles.

 Meghan attended at Roman Catholic High School, but Roman Catholic schools are filled with non-Roman Catholic Christians - and even non-Christians.  I met a Lutheran pastor here in northern Virginia who chose to send his children to a local Catholic high school as the school has a very good reputation.    Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark's daughter, Princess Athena, attends a Catholic school (the family is Lutheran).  The school's website states that more non-Catholics attend the school than Roman Catholics.

So what is Meghan's religion?  It is possible that she was not raised in any religion.   I asked Samantha if Meghan had been baptized in any church.   Samantha said no.

Now, of course, Samantha rarely has a kind word to say about Meghan.  But she may be right about her younger half-sister when it comes to religion.

There are millions of unchurched and unbaptized Americans.  The number grows with every year, as more Americans turn away from organized religion.  One can be a person of faith (in something) without being an official member of a faith community.  I suspect Meghan Markle falls into this community.

Miss Markle has never said that she is Jewish although others have speculated.   Profiles have mentioned the Roman Catholic High School, but little else.

Her publicist, Chantal Artur, told a Jewish publication: "Just to clarify ... she's not Jewish."

The question of Meghan's religion will be answered if and when she becomes engaged to Prince Harry.   If she has never been baptized, one expects that she will have meetings with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and then there will the announcement of a private baptism, followed by a private confirmation, both before the wedding.  For all we know, she may already be learning about the Church of England ... but again, there will be no real clarification until there is an announcement.

  (Catherine Middleton was confirmed in the Church of England shortly before her wedding to Prince William, as she had not been confirmed as a teenager.)

On this matter of religion,  I have few doubts about Samantha's responses.  She would know if Thomas Markle was Jewish because he is her father.  She had also mentioned that one family member -- an uncle, I think, is a Greek Orthodox priest.  It is possible that she speculated about Meghan not being baptized after I asked the question,  but, then again, she was closer to her family when Meghan was a child than she is now.

Yes, Samantha holds a few grudges against Meghan, but those grudges were not on display when I asked my questions.


Anonymous said...

Does her religion really make any difference at all nowadays? Do you think that HM would withhold her consent to the marriage if Meghan is not baptized in the C of E? I know that any person in the line of succession to the throne who is not a member of the C of E can not become king/queen regnant but that surely doesn't apply to their spouse. What are your thoughts?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The sovereign is the head of the Church of England. The wedding will be religious, their children will be baptized ...

Cheryl Ciucevich said...

And what about the status of her previous marriage in regards to a CoE wedding? If it was only a civil ceremony, will it matter at all that she is divorced. I believe in the Catholic Church, a previous marriage only "counts" (and requires annulment before a second marriage) if it was between baptized people. Is this also the case with the Church of England?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Certainly in the Catholic church, a civil marriage is not recognized (although in the US all marriages are technically civil, which is why a civil divorce is needed before getting an annulment). Queen Letizia's first marriage was civil -- the church did not recognize that she ever married or divorced. Not as much as a problem as the Church of England, since 2002. has allowed remarriages of divorced persons.

jojo25 said...

I thought that the the divorce and subsequent remarriage of Ann and Charles answered that question long time Ago Chery?... hasn't issue been put to bed already non?!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Anne got married in the Church of Scotland. Charles and Camilla chose to have a civil wedding followed by the service of blessing

Donna said...

Looking at the above photo of Meghan, I see a resemblance to Pippa Middleton.

Unknown said...

A civil marriage followed by a blessing in tbe C of E as she has been divorced is more likely.

Unknown said...

Any person other than a Roman Catholic actually. That will likely be repealed soon. So long as the actual sovreign is a confirmed nember of the C of E. Baptism in any mainline church is okay even RC. But if the person is RC and marrying into the RF in line of likely succession they currently have to receive C of E communion. The Duchess of Kent became a Catholic meaning her husband had to give up his succesion. On the other hand princess Michael of Kent (the wife of his uounger brother) became Anglican (she was an Austrian Catholic)

Unknown said...

Re married but civil with a blessing.

Unknown said...

A civil wedding as she is divorced...a blessing to follow.

Unknown said...

Just to clarify...sorry...the only bar to an RC is the throne itself since longer a bar to marriage into the RF. My examples were from the recent past.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Shawn, you need to bone up on your royal facts. According to the Act of Settlement, a person who married a Roman Catholic ceased to have rights to the throne. This applied to Prince Michael, the Earl of St. Andrews (Son of the Duke of Kent), King Michael of Romania, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, among others. However, as all of the children of these marriages were not Catholic, the Children retained their rights. Princess Michael has never become an Anglican. She is Roman Catholic. Michael and Marie Christine planned on a Church wedding at the Schottenkirche in Vienna, following the legal civil wedding. But the Pope would not allow the Catholic wedding to take place even though Marie Christine was free to wed in the church. This was due to the statement that their children would be raised in the Anglican faith. After their civil wedding, they had a service of Blessing in the Church of England a few weeks later, and then a few years later, the Catholic church allowed for a Catholic marriage. The new Succession to the Crown Act (2013) allows for a dynast to remnain in succession but Roman Catholics remain non-dynasts. This is not likely to be changed anytime soon. Those who married Roman Catholics, such as Michael and Lord St. Andrews, regained their rights. However, 2 of Lord St. Andrews' three children, Lord Downpatrick and Lady Marina remained non dynasts as they were confirmed in the RC church. The Duke of Kent never lost his right because of the Duchess's conversion. This was due to the fact that she converted many years after their marriage. She was CoE when they married.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Stuart, the Church of England allows for divorced persons to marry in church -- has for years. Harry is not the reason for her divorce. Westminster Abbey stated several months ago that Meghan was free to marry in church. Moreover, she had a civil, not a religious wedding. Please do try to keep up-to-date. The Archbishop of Canterbury would have married Charles and Camilla, but they chose to not have a church wedding because there would be criticism.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

What part of the Church of England now allows for remarriage of divorced persons do you not understand. There are also divorced clergy in the Church of England.

Westminster Abbey stated a few months ago that there is no bar for Meghan to marry in the church. She had a civil marriage that lasted for 2 years. She is not Roman Catholic, probably no organized religion. Please stick to the facts, or don't bother to post. It does not pay to look ignorant when facts are staring you in the face.

Unknown said...

Thanks God. I hope she will convert to C of E. I hope everyone in Royal family remains Christian for rest of my life.

Unknown said...

Now public knowledge that Meghan will be baptised and confirmed in the Church of England before their wedding in a C of E church in May.

Unknown said...

Gee. Do you think the Royals are a tad anti-semetic?