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The Sacred Kingdom and the Royal Wedding of 2011

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Abstract

Despite secularisation and increased religious diversity the UK state and the monarchy are religiously legitimated institutions which have their origins in protestant/catholic divisions over three hundred years ago but which remain strong enough to survive in the current era. The Church of England acts not only as the established church of England but as a church for the UK with respect to events such as the coronation and the royal wedding of 2011. Ecumenical and interfaith initiatives have been attempted by the government and the monarchy and were evident in attendance at the wedding but it demonstrated the ritual supremacy of the state church and the inevitable difficulties of seeking to achieve formal representation for religious diversity in the state. Attempts at more formally inclusive religious involvement in state institutions conflict with other goals such as gender equity and suggest that secular state institutions might be fairer to all religions, denominations and those with no beliefs.

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