Fidei defensor

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"Defender of the Faith" redirects here. For the album, see Defenders of the Faith.

Fidei defensor (Latin for Defender of the Faith) was a title granted on October 17, 1521 by Pope Leo X to King Henry VIII of England due to Henry's book Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (written with the uncredited assistance of Thomas More) which defended the sacramental nature of marriage and the supremacy of the Pope.

The title was a reward for the resistance in England to the new ideas of Martin Luther. When the king broke with Rome and founded the church of England, the title was revoked by Pope Paul III. However, the English parliament confirmed the title in 1544 for Anglicanism.

The Latin version of the title, abbreviated to FD, is seen on all current British coins. It was first placed on coins in 1714 in the reign of George I of England.

Most Commonwealth Realms where the Queen is head of state omit the title "defender of the faith" from their country's official title given to the Queen.

HRH Charles, Prince of Wales has said that he would like to recast the title as Defender of Faith to avoid the appearance of favouring one religion above another.

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