Is Prince Harry an Atheist?

It’s pure speculation… but I didn’t know Prince Harry “declined to give a religious reading” at his late mother’s tenth anniversary memorial service.

Here’s what the National Secular Society of Britain says:

One of the more startling revelations at last week’s tenth anniversary memorial service for Princess Diana was that her second son, Prince Harry, had declined to give a religious reading, as his elder brother had done, and elected instead to make a personal eulogy.

What can we discern from this? That Harry simply wanted to say something about the person who was supposedly at the heart of this event — his mother — or that, like so many other people in Britain, he feels indifferent or even antipathetic towards the church and religion? Could it be that, (please don’t listen granny Betty), Prince Harry doesn’t regard Jesus as a personal friend?

What kind of constitutional crisis would be precipitated if a self-confessed atheist ascended the throne? It isn’t impossible – Harry is only third in line. Could a non-believer be the head of the Church of England? (What do you mean, he wouldn’t be the first?) I think we should be told.



[tags]atheist, atheism, Princess Diana[/tags]

  • Mriana

    Maybe it was more meaningful to him to say what was in his heart. We really can’t say or make judgement as to why he didn’t give a religious reading. But if he is an atheist, does it really matter?

    OK maybe to the religious it does, but to me, it really doesn’t matter. What matters most to me, is what is in a person’s heart. For me, this supercedes any religious reading. Then again, I’m not a religious person. A spiritual person yes, but not religious, which could very well explain why I prefer hearing what is in a person heart.

  • http://badidea.wordpress.com Bad

    But if he is an atheist, does it really matter?

    Well, it does sort of matter, given that he is in line for one of the few remaining ancestrally passed down religious leadership positions. As the article notes, if he’s a non-believer, they could end up with an atheist heading up the Church of England. Not quite the Pope declaring that he’s a big fan of Dawkins, but still a little odd for any practicing Anglicans to consider. :)

  • Mriana

    Actually, no he’s not next in line. His older bother is. It goes from older to younger. So, it still doesn’t matter, unless his brother dies with no heirs, then it would go to Harry. Remember, their father had ‘an heir and a spare’. :roll: I really hated hearing their dad said that.

  • http://goblinpaladin.livejournal.com goblinpaladin

    I suspect you’re overreaching a little there. He decided to say something personal, instead of something ready-made. Some atheists would choose to say something religious. There are some lovely passages out there, after all.

    It would be interesting if a member of the royal family was an atheist, but I doubt it would make much difference. The Archbishop really runs the Anglican church, not the Queen.

  • Maria

    It would be interesting if a member of the royal family was an atheist, but I doubt it would make much difference. The Archbishop really runs the Anglican church, not the Queen.

    true

  • Aj

    Prince Harry speaking to Edmund Lord Archbishop of Canterbury:
    And another thing. What bothers me, your Grace, is suppose my right hand offends me and I cut it off – what happens if my left hand offends me as well, I mean what do I cut it off with?

    The Black Adder (Blackadder I), The Archbishop, Scene 7: On The Way to Canterbury

  • http://badidea.wordpress.com Bad

    Actually, no he’s not next in line

    I didn’t say he was next, I said he was in the line. That’s what made people interested in the issue, which it says right in the article. :)

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Hate to tell you but this post reminds me of this

    “As the tide of faith rises, atheists, who have no church to buoy them, cling to one another. That a single celebrity, say, Keanu Reeves, is known to care nothing about God is counted as a victory. This parochial and moralistic self-regard begins to inspire in me a feeling of oppression. When Adams starts to recite the names of atheists who may have contributed to the television program Mr. Show With Bob and David between 1995 and 1998, I leave.”

    Do you really care about what Prince Harry thinks about anything? He’s the one with the sort of alien stare, isn’t he? The one who dressed up like a Nazi to go to a costume party well after he was old enough to know better? Come on, you can do a lot better than him.

  • Susan

    As I recall Diana’s funeral, the words used in her honor (by her brother Elton John), had nothing to do with religion or “God’s will” or “she’s with God now.” Perhaps Harry knew something.

    I also remember that the boys were made to go to church on the morning after they learned of their mother’s death. There was a heartbreaking picture of Harry just staring out the car window. I wonder if he may have reached a kind of breaking point that day.

  • Mriana

    Elton John is her brother? You do know he is an atheist, don’t you? Or is this another man with the first and middle name the same as Elton John’s first and last name?

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike C

    Do you really care about what Prince Harry thinks about anything? He’s the one with the sort of alien stare, isn’t he? The one who dressed up like a Nazi to go to a costume party well after he was old enough to know better? Come on, you can do a lot better than him.

    Good point. I figure atheists getting excited over celebrities who turn out to be atheists is about as silly as Christians who get excited when people like Paris Hilton or that dog-fighting athlete guy (can’t remember his name) say they “found Jesus”.

  • Jen

    Elton John is not her brother.

    Maybe this meant that Diana was secretly an atheist? That would be kind of cool, too, even though I think it would be a stretch.

    Even if Harry were an atheist, and he were to become king, I don’t know if he would be allowed, so to speak, to announce his true irreligious feelings.

    I don’t know that this is as silly as, say, getting excited to find out any random celebrity is an atheist. This is more along the lines of Pete Starks being an atheist- someone who has a certain amount of power to effect our lives and laws is a lot different than a movie star.

  • Mriana

    I don’t know. For some reason it doesn’t really matter to me if he is an atheist or not. What I care most about is what is in people’s hearts. Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think there is.

  • Richard Wade

    Wow. Here’s a rare conjunction of planets. Olvlzl, Mike C and I all agree on something.
    Since so many celebrities live such silly, self-indulgent lives I generally find it slightly embarrassing whenever one reveals that they are an atheist, even when one is intelligent and complex like Jodi Foster. What’s really embarrassing and exasperating is the whole idea of looking for credibility or validation by association with movie stars, sports athletes and (ugh) anyone from the Windsor family, perhaps more dysfunctional than even the Jackson family. Why should I be impressed by the opinion of someone who is nothing more than pretty or high born on topics such as what car to buy, what soap to use or what world view to adopt?

    “Hi, I’m Handsome Mann. You’ve seen me starring in many major motion pictures and television programs. I’m here to offer you a rare opportunity to see the universe as I do. You may have been fooled by imitation viewpoints, but this is the genuine article. Call the number on your screen or visit my website, www dot belikehansomemann dot com, and soon you’ll have the pride and satisfaction of knowing that you think about stuff exactly as a prince of Hollywood does. Call or click now. You’ll be glad you did.” (Finishes with his famous blindingly white toothy smile)

    The omission of “god stuff” in Harry’s speech is hardly much to go on for speculation about his spiritual views. It was his mom’s funeral. He had the prerogative to say whatever the hell he wanted. But the point is that regardless of their position on religion, no intelligent, self-respecting person should give a rat’s ass.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike C

    I don’t know that this is as silly as, say, getting excited to find out any random celebrity is an atheist. This is more along the lines of Pete Starks being an atheist- someone who has a certain amount of power to effect our lives and laws is a lot different than a movie star.

    I admittedly don’t know much about the British political system, but as I understand it, British royalty has little to no ability to affect lives or laws in their country. I could be wrong, but as far as I can tell, a British royal is nothing more than a celebrity with a ceremonial title.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Elton John is not her brother.

    Come to think of it, there is that very widespread belief that Chuck isn’t his father. Red hair, blue eyes? I wonder.


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