Bishop’s slur at Royal wedding causes mass furore

Updated: Nov 21, 2010, 17:54 PM IST

Spicezee Bureau

New Delhi: As speculation grows over the date of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton next year, a prominent bishop has provoked a storm of outrage by claiming that the matrimony will last not more than seven years.

According to reports, Church of England Bishop Pete Broadbent described the Royal Family as ‘philanderers’ with a record of marriage break-ups who ‘cost an arm and a leg’.

Lambasting the extravagant hysteria surrounding the ‘national flimflam’ of the ­wedding, the cleric added that the basis of the Monarchy is ‘corrupt and sexist’.

The remark has drawn ire from various quarters of public administration and religious domain. Tory MP Nicholas Soames, a friend of Prince Charles, last night denounced the Bishop’s comments as ‘absurd’ and ‘ridiculous’, saying, “They are extremely rude, not what one expects from a bishop.”

The furore could prove particularly embarrassing to Bishop Chartres as the Church sources have suggested that he may conduct the wedding service – although it would be a breakaway from the original tradition of having the Archbishop of Canterbury for the ceremony.

Bishop Broadbent – a founder member of the Church’s powerful ‘Cabinet’, the Archbishops’ Council – first commented on the Royal wedding on his Twitter account shortly after the couple announced their engagement on Tuesday.

He said, “Need to work out what date in the spring or ­summer I should be booking my republican day trip to France.”

Later, the remark then appeared on his Facebook page, sparking comments, including one asking: ‘Isn’t the Queen your boss?’ To which the Cambridge-educated Bishop Broadbent replied, “I think you’ll find that God and the Bishop of London are my bosses. I am a citizen, not a subject!”