King Charles tells faith leaders he has personal duty ‘to protect diversity of our country’

·2-min read
King Charles tells faith leaders he has personal duty ‘to protect diversity of our country’

The King has said he has a personal “duty to protect the diversity of our country”.

Charles told more than 30 faith leaders from various religions at a reception in Buckingham Palace that as Sovereign he believes his work must include “protecting the space for faith itself” and the valued differences which people live by.

He said: “I have always thought of Britain as a ‘community of communities’.

“That has led me to understand that the Sovereign has an additional duty – less formally recognised but to be no less diligently discharged.

King Charles III - In pictures

Prince Charles Prince Of Wales 60th Birthday Portrait (Getty Images)
Prince Charles Prince Of Wales 60th Birthday Portrait (Getty Images)
King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace (PA)
King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace (PA)
The fair-haired and blue-eyed infant Prince was 19 weeks old when photographed and weighed 16lb 2oz. (PA )
The fair-haired and blue-eyed infant Prince was 19 weeks old when photographed and weighed 16lb 2oz. (PA )
Princess Diana, her sons Harry and William, and Prince Charles watch the parade march past as part of the commemorations of VJ Day (AFP/Getty Images)
Princess Diana, her sons Harry and William, and Prince Charles watch the parade march past as part of the commemorations of VJ Day (AFP/Getty Images)
1949: Childhood portrait of the baby Prince Charles in his basket, at Buckingham Palace, London (Getty Images)
1949: Childhood portrait of the baby Prince Charles in his basket, at Buckingham Palace, London (Getty Images)
Princess Elizabeth holding Prince Charles in his Christening gown with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh behind. (PA)
Princess Elizabeth holding Prince Charles in his Christening gown with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh behind. (PA)
Prince Charles, later The Prince of Wales, perched on the lap of his father the Duke of Edinburgh, whilst his mother Queen Elizabeth II looks on in the grounds of Windlesham Moor, country home in Surrey of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke. (PA )
Prince Charles, later The Prince of Wales, perched on the lap of his father the Duke of Edinburgh, whilst his mother Queen Elizabeth II looks on in the grounds of Windlesham Moor, country home in Surrey of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke. (PA )
1951: Portrait of the prince taken before his third birthday (PA )
1951: Portrait of the prince taken before his third birthday (PA )
The first pictures of the King after his severe lung operation. They were accompanied by Prince Charles and his baby sister, Princess Anne on his 3rd birthday visit to Buckingham Palace. (PA )
The first pictures of the King after his severe lung operation. They were accompanied by Prince Charles and his baby sister, Princess Anne on his 3rd birthday visit to Buckingham Palace. (PA )
The Prince of Wales with his father, the Duke of Edinburgh during a motorboat race up the river Medina at Cowes, Isle of Wight. (PA )
The Prince of Wales with his father, the Duke of Edinburgh during a motorboat race up the river Medina at Cowes, Isle of Wight. (PA )
Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth, with the Duke of Edinburgh, holding Prince Charles, in the grounds of Clarence House, their London residence. (PA)
Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth, with the Duke of Edinburgh, holding Prince Charles, in the grounds of Clarence House, their London residence. (PA)

“It is the duty to protect the diversity of our country, including by protecting the space for faith itself and its practise through the religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs to which our hearts and minds direct us as individuals.”

The King told the reception in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace how much their words of condolence meant to him after the death of his mother the Queen last week.

He added: “I also wanted, before all of you today, to confirm my determination to carry out my responsibilities as Sovereign of all communities around this country and the Commonwealth and in a way which reflects the world in which we now live.”

Charles said his own Christian beliefs “have love at their very heart” and that they “bound” him to respect those following other religious paths.

King Charles waves as he arrives to visit Cardiff Castle (Getty Images)
King Charles waves as he arrives to visit Cardiff Castle (Getty Images)

He said: “As a member of the Church of England, my Christian beliefs have love at their very heart. By my most profound convictions, therefore – as well as by my position as Sovereign – I hold myself bound to respect those who follow other spiritual paths, as well as those who seek to live their lives in accordance with secular ideals.

“The beliefs that flourish in, and contribute to, our richly diverse society differ. They, and our society, can only thrive through a clear collective commitment to those vital principlesof freedom of conscience, generosity of spirit and care for others which are, to me, the essence of our nationhood.

“I am determined, as King, to preserve and promote those principles across all communities, and for all beliefs, with all my heart. This conviction was the foundation of everything my beloved mother did for our country, over her years as our Queen. It has been the foundation of my own work as Prince of Wales. It will continue to be the foundation of all my work as King.”