What would happen if the Queen of England became Catholic?

Since the Queen is the head of the Anglican Church/Scotland Church…

Would she still be head of those Church though her conversion?

Would she be excommunicated from those churches?

Just some basic answers would be fine.

Perhaps it would cause the Anglican and Episcopalian churches to cease to exist, and they would be reunited with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. :slight_smile:

(I can only dream, can’t I?)

I think in reality what would happen is that the Anglican Church would detach itself from the Monarchy, and be ruled directly by the Bishop of Canterbury in law as well as in fact. But it would certainly change the dynamic of the English Church, in every way.

The Queen cannot ‘become Catholic’. One of the things the British monarch promises to do is do ‘defend the faith’ - every coin minted in the UK has the letters DGRFD after the queen’s name (or at least ER to represent her name) the FD part marks her as defender of the faith.

What she could do is abdicate, after which Elizabeth Windsor would be free to become catholic, but as soon as she signs the abdication Charles would become King, and therefore defender of the faith (and head of the Anglican communion) instead of her.

All the best


She would have to step down. It is against the law to be Catholic and be member of royalty. It is in Act of Settlement of 1701.

She’d have to step down and have Charles become King. Of course I doubt this would happen

The title “Defender of the Faith” was bestowed by the Pope on King Henry VIII when he wrote his “Defense of the Sacraments”. I don’t know the history of how it came to mean defending the Anglican Church, but I have heard that Charles wants to change it to “Defender of Faiths” when he becomes King, because he wants to liberate other faiths to practice equally in England.

What she could do is abdicate, after which Elizabeth Windsor would be free to become catholic, but as soon as she signs the abdication Charles would become King, and therefore defender of the faith (and head of the Anglican communion) instead of her.

Unless he chose not to - he would, after all, be King, and it would be up to him. The thing was done by a King, and it can be undone by a King.

Hi jmcrae

You are right that it was given to Henry VIII by the pope, following a book he published defending the santity of marriage. When he rather ironically broke with the church the title was revoked (I believe by a subsequent pope). The English Parliament then bestowed the title on him again, this time referring to the newly formed Church of England; they also added that it would apply to his sucessors, hence the reigning British monarch has had the title ever since then.

I’m not sure that Charles on his ascension (or Queen Elizabeth as current monarch) could remove (or refuse) the title. I imagine this would have to be done by an act of parliament, with the monarch’s permission and with the General Synod of the Anglican Communion’s permission.

All the best


I cannot imagine our Queen being a Catholic,:shrug:

Diana was interested…I suspect that’s part of the reason why she was murdered.

She was dating a Muslim at the time - she was already divorced, so her religion was a private matter; she was no longer a member of the Royal Family - and her death was ruled an accident, in any case.

Why? Is she thinking of changing religions?

I think the rumors at the time of Diana’s death was she was thinking of becoming Muslim. That is just a rumor and her death was ruled an accident and was just tragic for her sons. There are no rumors of the Queen becoming Catholic.

You are completely wrong, and have no understanding of the British Monarchy. Such a thing as changing the title of “Defender of the Faith” is not within the power of the King. Only Parliment, The House of Commons with the consent of The House of Lords can do that.
As for Queen E II becoming a Catholic, Civilization as we know it would be finished and the world would come to an end! Just ask any Englishman…be careful in asking, after regaining consciousness, he might very well assault you! lol

Well she could refuse to abdicate the throne and still go to RCIA and convert to the faith. Then again she would be just as likely to return Northern Ireland to the Irish as she would to come into the Truth of the Catholic faith.

They would probably redo that Olympic skit, and make her REALLY jump
out of that helicopter, and without a parachute… Ooopsie…

I know very little about British law, but I DO know that by law the monarch MUST be protestant. She would very likely be forced to abdicate, and possibly be charged with treason. That’s the most extreme scenario, but it COULD happen. It wouldn’t be the first time a reigning monarch was charged with treason.

Besides… if it EVER happens, it won’t be anytime soon.

She would absolutely lose her parking space at Buckingham Palace…I mean right off the bat.:wink:

I assume that’s tongue in cheek.
The British monarch is forbidden by law to be Catholic. If the Queen converted she would either have to voluntarily abdicate or be forced to abdicate. She would not be recognised as Queen.

This is mostly correct, not completely, with respect to how Henry acquired the title Defensor Fidei. And the Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (concerning all the sacraments, not matrimony alone) was only a part of the tale.

The story is interesting; I’ve posted it around here a number of times. Could do so again, if there was interest.


Just when I thought I had run out of reasons to be happy I was born an American.:wink:

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