When Prince Harry proposed to American “commoner” and Meghan Markle, it appeared as though fairytales do come true. A regular girl with a messy family dynamic and recluse father was flung into royalty and would soon become a princess. It seemed like a real Cinderella story until the fairytale came to a screeching halt after her secret came out, banning her from marrying the Prince. Now, Markle must face the royal family matriarch, the Queen of England, who doesn’t seem too happy about what she’s been hiding.
The picture of perfection and elegance that this couple has portrayed over the last few weeks as they flaunt their love for each other from the states to the Royal Palace, has now been shattered as it seems like it was a front for something else. The American actress does what she’s apparently pretty good at and that’s pretending to be someone she isn’t. As it turns out, Markle may not be able to wed Prince Harry in the Church of England, which officiates royal weddings.
Prince Harry has planned to tie the knot with Markle in May, however, there could be some hiccups along the way before that can happen. The untraditional pair has done things differently than the royal tradition, starting with Harry marrying a divorced American actress. In 2011, Markle married Jewish film director, Trevor Engelson. They divorced about two years later in 2013. Having been married before is frowned upon in the royal family and will take some special permission for the pair to wed in the Spring of 2018, including from the Queen of England herself and a special license from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
PEOPLE Magazine reports:
For centuries, divorce was frowned upon by the Church of England and members of the British royal family were forbidden — or at the very least, strongly discouraged — from marrying someone who was divorced.
The history-shaking controversy surrounding Edward’s abdication, as fans of The Crown will attest, has never been forgotten by Queen Elizabeth, who was just 10 when her uncle stepped aside — paving the way for her own ascension to the throne. Edward married Simpson in 1937 in exile in France.
But times have changed.
In 2002, the General Synod – the governing body of the Church of England – voted to recognize “that some marriages regrettably do fail.” They added, “there are exceptional circumstances in which a divorced person may be married in church during the lifetime of a former spouse.” Any decision “as to whether or not to solemnize such a marriage in church after divorce rests with the minister.”
However, being a divorcee isn’t the only hurtle Markle is facing in marrying her prince. Religion plays a part as well and since she seems to assume the faith of whoever she’s with, she’s going to have to state what she believes on her own. It’s unknown what her religion is or if she has one since she married her first husband in a Jewish ceremony but attended a private Catholic school growing up. If she’s in fact Catholic, this could be a problem in marrying Harry in the Church of England.
PEOPLE Magazine explains:
In order to remain in the line of succession, members of the royal family cannot be Catholic. The vast majority are members of the Church of England, with the Queen serving as the head of the church. And until 2013, laws forbade members of the family from marrying someone who is Catholic. It was a restriction couples could work around: Peter Phillips’s wife, Autumn, converted from Catholicism before their May 2008 wedding. If she hadn’t, Phillips — the Queen’s eldest grandchild, who is 13th in line to the throne — would have lost his place in the line of succession.
However, in 2013, Britain modernized their laws. Now, those in the immediate line of succession can marry anyone they like, regardless of religion (provided they have permission from the monarch if they’re one of the first six in line to the throne). The rules regarding gender were also changed so that a first-born daughter would inherit the throne, irrespective of whether a boy followed. Under the previous primogeniture rule, any boy would take priority over an older sister.
Unlike with Charles and Camilla, PEOPLE understands that the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has no issue with conducting the ceremony for Harry and Markle – if he’s asked.
“Following the guidelines of the Church of England, the Archbishop wouldn’t have any problem with officiating with their wedding if it got to that point,” says a source close to the Archbishop.
Well, that’s a big relief to Markle who is shaking things up in the royal family by doing things a lot differently than how they have been done for decades. It looks like she may get her fairytale no matter who or what factor tries to prevent her from that end goal. However, she still needs to impress the queen and that seems to be her most difficult task yet. Meanwhile, she’s still planning her wedding to Harry and the pair are said to be tying the knot in a far more “casual” affair than Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.