Prince Harry has revealed that he is “not religious” in his new memoir Spare, despite his family’s historical and close ties with the Church of England. The prince’s stance is in sharp contrast to the deeply held religious views held by his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth and his father King Charles.
In his memoir the Duke broaches the subject when recounting hunting and shooting a stag during his childhood at Balmoral, the firm’s Scottish home in Aberdeenshire.
He said: “I wasn’t religious, but this ‘blood facial’ was, to me, baptismal.”
“Blooding”, he goes on to explain, is a ritual to initiate newcomers into hunting culture as well as a show of respect for the animal that has been killed.
He adds that it is “an act of communion by the slayer”.
However the Duke does mention that King Charles or “Pa” as he is referred to in the book is “deeply religious”.
He said: “He prayed every night, but now, in this moment, I felt too close to God.”
In Spare the Duke does not elaborate on how the hunting incident made him feel closer to a spiritual deity.
There is a clue as to why he may feel apathetic or even hostile towards religion, with reference to an incident involving one of his teachers and a bible.
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However the Duke speculated that it was his late mother Diana Princess of Wales who was working from beyond the grave to disrupt the wedding.
He also said that an encounter he had with a leopard in Botswana was a sign from “Mummy” in the form of a messenger signifying that everything would be fine.
The Duke’s stance is in sharp contrast to the King, who as head of the Church of England has described himself as “a committed Anglican Christian”.