In a private, essentially secret, ceremony on Tuesday, Meghan Markle was baptized and confirmed in the Church of England, the Daily Mail reports. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who has been helping the couple prepare for their wedding in May, officiated the sacraments. According to the Mail, the Archbishop may have also worked with Markle to study the catechism ahead of the ceremony, which was held in the Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace.
This was a highly anticipated moment in the couple's journey to the altar, one that mirrors Prince William and Kate Middleton's own pre-wedding prep. Middleton, who'd been baptized as an infant, was confirmed in the months leading up to their 2011 wedding.
But, this change wasn't required of Markle, who was raised Protestant and attended Catholic high school. It seems she made this choice simply out of love for Prince Harry and his family.
For one thing, Prince Harry is a confirmed Anglican. Now that she's converted, Markle can take communion in church alongside her future husband. But the royal family's ties to the Church of England go far deeper than regular service attendance.
The Queen, Prince Harry's grandmother, is a prominent figure within the Church of England. She holds the official title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England, which gives her the power to appoint archbishops, bishops, and deans of Anglican cathedrals (with input from the UK's prime minister). Not only does converting demonstrate Markle's commitment to Prince Harry's faith, it's also a sign of regard for the Queen and her role as a Church leader.
Then there's the significance of the Chapel Royal in Prince Harry's life. Not only was it the site of his nephew, Prince George's, baptism in 2013, it was also where the body of his mother, Princess Diana, was held in the week leading up to her funeral. And, to bring it back to the Queen once again, St. James' Palace was where she gave her first speech as Queen in 1952. Markle's conversion is one of many milestones in Prince Harry's life to take place in the Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace.
We still have to wait two months until Markle and Prince Harry officially tie the knot, but her conversion to her in-laws' religion marks a major step toward joining the royal family.