Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Jonathon sits down with the former chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II.

Gavin Ashenden, who has since converted to Catholicism, describes what the position and the Royal Family were like, the role of faith in their public and private lives, and whether the royal title “Defender of the Faith” even means anything now in this post-Christian era.

Ashenden admits the chaplaincy was somewhat of a “theatrical” role, much like every other role in the public life of the Royal Family.

“If it looks like you’re going to be promoted to a senior role responsibility, they often make you a chaplain to the Queen early as a kind of signal you’re going somewhere,” he explained. “You hang around the Royal Family, you dress in a scarlet cassock like a cardinal, you go to tea parties, you go to various functions, and you’re there really as part of … a theatrical embellishment to a complex, constitutional position. It looks good, but it doesn’t do very much.”

“However, you do get opportunities to speak to the Royal Family, to the ladies-in-waiting, to the staff, and so on. And if they like you and you’re there for a while, then you have opportunities to develop conversations.”

Ultimately, Ashenden says, royal life is “constrained” to the point of feeling “imprisoned,” with day after day of “staged conversations in staged places,” all with people serving in other roles that really only exist as public formalities.

“One of the things that [Prince] Harry hasn’t really got his head around is that if … you want to stay a part of the Royal Family, you give up your freedom. That’s what you do. That’s the deal,” he says. “So, it’s very odd that he continues to complain that he and Meghan were in some way constrained. Of course they were constrained. When Meghan married into the Royal Family, that was the deal.”

Ashenden discusses much more in this week’s show, including why we can only infer about the role of faith in the lives of the Royal family, and why he thinks the traditional title “Defender of the Faith” has practically no meaning in the 21st century. Listen to this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show below:

The Van Maren Showis hosted on numerous platforms, including Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play.

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe to various channels, visit our Acast webpage here.