King Charles' ties to the Greek Orthodox church and his friendship with monk Elder Ephraim explained

King Charles has been known to have peculiar interests. A recent report has revealed that the monarch holds a very special yet surprising friendship with Elder Ephraim, a Greek Orthodox monk.

King Charles orthodox monk
© Samir Hussein / GETTY IMAGES
King Charles orthodox monk

Before King Charles was the monarch, he was the longest ever Prince of Wales. As such he enjoyed a certain freedom for a very long time. This role of King-in-waiting allowed him to pursue his many interests.

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Widely known is his love of the environment and nature. This love and commitment to preserving the ecosystem and slow global warming is something that he still focuses on as monarch. However, there is another interest which is harder to sustain as King and Head of the Church of England.

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King Charles’ uncanny friendship

Having an open mind and being curious are great qualities to have when you are King, especially when your role isn’t just King of the United Kingdom but also Head of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth is composed of 56 nations scattered all around the globe. In the Commonwealth there are approximately 2.4 billion people which roughly make a third of the world population.

People of the Commonwealth range in age, ethnicity, religion and a lot of other different aspects. Therefore, it comes to little surprise that the King would have a keen interest in various religions. A new report from The Telegraph highlights how that interest has been of help to the monarch through tough times.

Victoria Ward explains that through recent challenging times the King has reached out to Elder Ephraim, a Greek Orthodox monk. According to The Telegraph’s writer, the two men ‘struck up a friendship in the late Nineties’ when then-Prince Charles visited his monastery several times.

The Telegraph reports Elder Ephraim said that the King 'has been in contact' with him given his current situation. He added:

I believe he’ll overcome it. Charles has a spiritual sophistication, a spiritual life,

The monk also commented on his relationship with King Charles saying the two enjoy a ‘very good rapport.’ According to The Sun the two men have been in a ‘secret friendship’ for 25 years and grew closer after Princess Diana’s death.

King Charles’ ties to the Greek Orthodox Church

The reports of this uncanny friendship were surprising but, looking back at history and the King’s family, they become almost normal. Indeed, the King’s father, Prince Philip was baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church before he converted to Anglicanism when he was about to marry then-Princess Elizabeth.

Moreover, Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice became an Orthodox nun. According to El Pais she even founded her own convent. This strong history could help explain King Charles’ fascination with the faith. According to The Telegraph this led to the monarch choosing to honour his ‘paternal heritage’ at his coronation when a ‘Greek choir performed Psalm 71 in Greek’.

Still at the coronation, King Charles was anointed with chrism oil which came from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem when Princess Alice, his grandmother is buried.

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