At a time of renewed interest in the monarchy (stimulated by the marriage of Prince William of Wales and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II), the institution is analyzed and dissected from almost every point of view apart from the sacred -- which arguably stands at its heart and is its ultimate raison d'etre. Commentators assess the constitutional and philanthropic aspects of monarchy and its tourist potential; gossip magazines report on the Royal Family as a soap opera. This lack of attention is in marked contrast to the sacred origins of monarchy and the manifest importance of religious belief in the life of the present monarch. Ian Bradley traces the religious dimension of monarchy and argues for its importance as a spiritual force in British life, as well as exploring what this might mean in a society that is both multi-faith and increasingly secular.

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