Kate Middleton’s Secret Confirmation: How Religious Is the Future Princess?

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REUTERS/Darren Staples

Britain's Prince William walks with his fiancee, Kate Middleton, during their visit to Witton Country Park in Darwen, northern England

Kate Middleton isn’t just marrying the future King. She’s marrying the man who will one day become Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

So, with her wedding cake chosen and plans for her wedding dress sorted, Kate staged a secret confirmation near William’s private offices on March 10. “Catherine Middleton was confirmed by the bishop of London at a private service at St. James’s Palace attended by her family and Prince William,” Clarence House said in a statement. “Miss Middleton, who was already baptized, decided to be confirmed as part of her marriage preparations.”

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of Kate Middleton)

Sources close to the 29-year old bride-to-be say the move reflects her “personal journey” into faith. Cynics, however, could easily spin this as a journey of convenience. Neither Kate nor her parents Carole and Michael routinely attend church (except during upper-class wedding season). And although a Berkshire bishop baptized her in June 1982 when she was five months old, Kate never affirmed the faith as a teenager as most Anglicans do. And then there’s the matter of keeping up appearances before the law: the 1701 Act of Settlement bars Roman Catholics from marrying heirs to the throne. Confirmation in the Church of England protects Kate and Wills from any troublemakers who might be searching for traces of Catholicism in her past.

The Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres, the bishop of London who will preside over Kate’s April 29 nuptial, conducted Kate’s confirmation last month. In 1997 he also confirmed William, then 14 years old, at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. It was one of the last times William’s parents were seen together publicly before Diana’s death five months later. (via Evening Standard)

(More on TIME.com: See the 10 ways Kate Middleton’s wedding breaks with royal tradition)