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Queen should remain Defender of the Faith suggests BBC poll

Almost four in five people believe the Queen still has an important faith role, according to a new BBC poll.

Almost 80% of people in England support a religious role for the Queen, according to a BBC poll.

In a poll by Comres to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, 79% of respondents said she still had an important faith role.

And 73% said she should continue as supreme governor of the Church of England and keep the Defender of the Faith title first given to Henry VIII.

Comres polled 2,591 people about links between the Church and monarchy. About 25% of those polled thought the Queen and future monarchs should not have any faith role.

The Queen's first Jubilee engagement of the year was at a multi-faith reception at Lambeth Palace, where she defended the role of the Church of England.

She said the Church was often misunderstood and under-appreciated.

"Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of all other religions, instead the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country," she said.

Read the rest of the story by the BBC's Alex Strangways-Booth here.

The Diamond Jubileer Souvenir booklet pictured above is available from CPO here.

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