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King Charles III

King Charles no longer Defender of the Faith in Canada

The monarchs of England and Great Britain have been using the title of Defender of the Faith for over 500 years. However, King Charles III will not be using this title in all of his realms and territories as Canada makes a change. 

In a bill that was included with the Canadian government’s new budget, one known as ‘the Royal Styles and Titles, 2023’ makes changes that mean The King will no longer use the title “Defender of the Faith” in the country.

The King’s official style and titles in Canada will be: Charles the Third, by the Grace of God King of Canada and His other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. 

King Charles’s styles and titles in Great Britain and New Zealand both still include Defender of the Faith. His full style in the United Kingdom is: Charles the Third, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. 

In 1521, Pope Leo X awarded King Henry VIII the title of Defender of the Faith after he published writings challenging the Protestant Martin Luther. Although the English church broke from the Roman Catholic church in 1534, Henry and all following monarchs in England and Britain have continued to claim this title. 

In 1994, Charles, then the Prince of Wales, said that he would rather be known as the Defender of Faith rather than the Defender of the Faith. In a 2015 interview, he clarified that he meant it possibly to be in addition to his original title rather than replacing it. 

As the upcoming Coronation is a decidedly Church of England ceremony it is unlikely that this title will change in the United Kingdom in the near future. 

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