Kate Middleton confirmed ahead of royal wedding

Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:20am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton has been confirmed into the Church of England ahead of her wedding to Britain's Prince William this month, his office said on Wednesday. The ceremony, carried out by the Bishop of London Richard Chartres who will give the address at the April 29th wedding, took place on March 10 with Middleton, 29, accompanied by her future husband, a spokeswoman for St James's Palace said.

"Catherine Middleton was confirmed by the Bishop of London at a private service at St James's Palace attended by her family and Prince William," the spokeswoman said.

"Miss Middleton, who was already baptized, decided to be confirmed as part of her marriage preparations."

William himself was confirmed by Chartres in a ceremony at Windsor Castle, west of London, in March 1997 when he was 14.

That represented a break in tradition as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the Church of England and the world wide Anglican Communion, usually performed such services for the royal family.

The Church of England and the throne have been linked since Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century and had himself declared the supreme head of the Church of England, a position currently held by William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.

As second in line to the throne, William is set to become supreme head of the Church of England when he becomes monarch.

British law forbids a Catholic, or anyone married to a Catholic, from taking the throne.

(Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>Britain's Prince William (L) and his fiancee Kate Middleton visit Witton Country Park in Darwen, northern England April 11, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Staples</p>