Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Anxiety of Queen over sharia law controversy

According to a royal source, the Queen has not expressed any view on whether Dr Rowan Williams was unwise to say it was "unavoidable" that aspects of the sharia legal system could be incorporated into English law.

But as Supreme Governor of the Church of England she has been dismayed by the controversy that the remarks have generated at such a difficult period in the history of the Established Church, which faces possible schism over the issue of homosexual clergy.

The Queen, who approved the appointment of Dr Williams on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, takes her role as Supreme Governor very seriously.

One royal source said: "I have no idea what her view is on what the Archbishop said about sharia law. But the Queen is worried, coming at such a difficult time in the Church's history, that the fallout may sap the authority of the Church."

The dismay felt by the Queen is mirrored by readers of The Daily Telegraph, who have written in great numbers to voice their concern at the consequences of the Archbishop's remarks.

Another royal courtier said: "The whole thing has not been skilfully handled. It can only have undermined the authority of the Church."

A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment. Read more
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