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FACT CHECK: King Charles III not first king to be hailed ‘Defender of the Faith’


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FACT CHECK: King Charles III not first king to be hailed ‘Defender of the Faith’
As supreme governor of the Church of England, English and British monarchs have been using the title for centuries

Claim: King Charles III is the first king in history to be hailed “Defender of the Faith.” 

At the 2:41 mark, a YouTube video claims: “Bakit kaya, for the first time in history na hi-nail ang isang hari bilang isang defender, hindi lamang ng isang nasyon, kundi defender ng pananampalataya?

(Why is it that, for the first time in history, a king will be hailed as a defender not just of a nation, but as a defender of the faith?) 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a YouTube video posted by a channel with 217,000 subscribers. The video has 132,888 views, 4,600 likes, and 754 comments as of writing. 

Facts: English and British monarchs are known as the supreme governor of the Church of England, and are bestowed the title Defender of the Faith or Fidei Defensor in Latin. 

The title was first granted to King Henry VIII by Pope Leo X in October 1521, in recognition of the king’s theological treatise Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (Defense of the Seven Sacraments), which defended the sacrament of marriage and the supremacy of the papacy.

According to the Church of England, the title was also occasionally granted to other monarchs, such as King James V of Scotland.

Henry VIII was stripped of the title when he broke with the papacy and became the first head of the Church of England. But the title was restored to the king by Parliament in 1546 and continues to be used by subsequent monarchs, with the latest being King Charles III.

Elsewhere in the world, the title, or variations of it, have also been used by other monarchs such as Henri I of Haiti and Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia. Katarina Ruflo/Rappler.com

Katarina Ruflo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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