Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Religious Questions & Charlene

There have been alot of rumors flying about lately regarding the religion of the next Princess of Monaco. Charlene was raised Protestant but, in an interview (which readers will have seen) she identified herself only as "Christian". The media had reported (in one of those off-hand type remarks the modern media is so good at, and frequently passes along incorrect information) that Charlene was taking catechism classes and would or had become Catholic. In the interview mentioned above, when asked about the subject of religion, Prince Albert II pointed out that, unlike Great Britain for example, there is freedom of religion for everyone in Monaco, including the spouse of the Sovereign Prince. Charlene does not have to be a Catholic to be the Princess of Monaco, though it would be the first time in the very long history of the country that such a thing happened.

So, now there is speculation about whether Charlene is or is not a Catholic or if she has or does not have any plans to change her religion. Charlene has attended mass with the Grimaldis, she crossed herself, genuflected to the Archbishop and so on. I don't know if she's taken communion, that is not usually shown anyway. Few would accuse the Grimaldis of being a devoutly religious family these days, but they do take religion seriously. Princess Stephanie, known for her 'wild ways' respectfully abstains from communion when that is called for and Prince Albert II has had very good relations with the Holy See throughout his reign. Now, whether Charlene is or is not a Catholic at this time I cannot say with 100% certainty. She has shown almost all the outward signs of being one and it would be my opinion that she is or is in the process of becoming one.

To be rather blunt, I don't think Charlene gives religious issues a great deal of attention. That is no slam against her, some people make it a priority and other people do not -it's just not a part of their lives. In an interview with her parents they made no issue out of the difference in religious upbringing between their daughter and her intended. Despite the fact that there is no law against it, I would be very, very surprised if Charlene remained even a nominal Protestant. It would be unprecedented in Monegasque history and I think would reflect poorly on her, given that she has not given the impression of specific church membership being that important to her, not to go along with the religion of her husband and the vast majority of the people of Monaco. To stress though, it is my opinion that she has become a Catholic or will shortly, perhaps at Easter time (which is when it usually happens but not always). If there is a public confirmation at Easter in preparation for the marriage it will certainly be known.


  1. I always thought that a good solution for monarchs (not necessarily Monegasque ones alone) was to show respect for religion. They do not necessairly have to be devout (that is, after all, an individual matter), but they must show respect to the institution.
    The Royal Family of Monaco seems to fit this bill rather well (incidentally, isn't Royal a term reserved for Kingdoms? Is Princely still employed?)

  2. I agree and Princess Stephanie (who I admit I've always had a soft spot for) is a good example I think. She's made alot of choices obviously contrary to what the Church says people should do, but she has said she is a Catholic, at least a nominal one as she was baptized into the Church, and that she respects it as the official religion of the country. Unlike others, she has not been so hypocritical as to pretend to be in full communion with the Church when she is not.

    Princely Family is still used and that is the official, correct term. Many people though, for the sake of convenience still often refer to the Grimaldis and all others as "royals". Technically, Princess Caroline is the only "royal" among them due to her marriage to the Prince of Hanover. In the same way, Charlotte Casiraghi is often referred to in magazines & articles as "royalty" or as a "princess" even though she actually has no title herself.

  3. I don't know how it's done in South Africa but a lot of protestants in America refer to themselves simply as Christian. It's used in opposition to the term Catholic. So her calling herself Christian wasn't necessarily an attempt to be coy. She may simply have been referring to herself in the way her Protestant denomination refers to itself.

  4. Perhaps, but I hope not. I hope she meant Christian only in the sense of not really taking part or giving much thought to the competing factions of the religion. If she meant it as Protestant, that could be taken as rather insulting -implying that Catholics are not Christians.

  5. It puzzles me, but it is fairly common for many Protestants in the U.S. to exclude Catholics when they talk about "Christians".
    Do they forget that before their ancestors embraced the Reform, their relatives were more than likely all Catholics?
    Way over 90% of all Americans whose ancestors came from Europe, whether they know it or not, descend from families who were (until a certain point) Catholic. It doesn't matter if you were Spanish, English, Dutch or Danish; everybody was Catholic (Christian, as it was called) before the early 1500, and most of Europe remained so well into the XVII and XVIII centuries.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...