April 13

Our monarchy reaches out…continued


 Dr Roman continues to trace the links between the monarchy and Orthodoxy:

“As an example, let us take the Crown’s historic relationship to Orthodoxy.

“As Orthodox priest, Fr. Andrew Phillips has said, the Monarchy is, in fact, one of the few remaining vestiges of Orthodox Christianity in the West. Christian monarchy was inherited from the first Christian Emperors. It is not by chance, Fr. Phillips says, that the Golden Jubilee celebration of Her Majesty’s accession coincides with the Feast of Sts. Constantine and Helen. Constantine himself was born in Eboracum or what is now York in England!

“The Queen is herself the blood descendant of Orthodox saints such as St Edward the Martyr.

“No less than three Orthodox saints are among the close relatives of Queen Elizabeth the Second. Two of these are granddaughters of the Regina-Imperatrix Victoria – St Alexandra the Tsaritsa and her sister, St Elizabeth the New Martyr. Tsar St Nicholas is the third.

“The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip is an Orthodox Christian as well (he returned to Orthodoxy in the 1990’s). On widowhood, his mother became an Orthodox nun and had her chapel in Buckingham Palace until her death in 1969 when she was buried beside St Elizabeth Fedorovna in Jerusalem.

“In addition, Prince Charles, the Heir to the Throne, is very much interested in Orthodoxy. I understand that he has, on occasion, crossed himself in public using the Orthodox Sign of the Cross.

“There is evidence to suggest, as Fr. Phillips relates, that King Henry VIII himself investigated becoming Orthodox when his problems with Rome began. His daughter, “Queen Elizabeth I enquired about becoming Orthodox with the view to marrying into the Russian Royal family.

“And Prince Charles has spoken highly of Orthodox theology and spirituality as is seen in these words of his at an ecology conference in Crete in November, 1991:

"The Orthodox Church has always known that every form of religious expression, worship, prayer, festival, preaching, monastic life or mysticism – can provide the inspiration to a practical response to the ecological crisis."

“Perhaps His Royal Highness was paying tribute to the declaration of September 1st to environmental protection by His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, New Rome? Or to the efforts of Patriarch Bartholomew in galvanizing Orthodox support for this same cause?

“A recent article in the Sunday Express, 28 April 2002, shows how much stronger the Prince’s interest in Orthodoxy has become:

"Prince Charles has become so fed up with the Church of England he has been having one to one instruction in the Greek Orthodox religion. Friends say that he has made a "spiritual commitment" to Greek Orthodoxy, but constitutional implications make it impossible for him to consider a full conversion."

“According to this source, "The Church of England’s absolutely pathetic attitude drives him (HRH Prince Charles) mad – trying to be everything to everybody, and in the end standing for nothing."

“It is said that Prince Charles fell in love with Orthodoxy during his 1996 visit to Mount Athos with its 2,000 monks of various nationalities. He spent four hours at Vatopedi Monastery speaking with the Abbot and that there was some sort of ceremony held involving him – an induction as a catechumen perhaps? It is also said that the tragic death of his wife, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 was the great catalyst toward Orthodoxy in the Prince’s life . . .

“Who knows what the future holds between the Monarchy and Orthodoxy?


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