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.  For some reason -- perhaps because I was never rude about Meghan -- Samantha recently blocked me on Twitter ... and let me say, we never had words.

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.

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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 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 because the school as 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 an 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 posed 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.






7 comments:

Chazman 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.