The Queen has been dragged into the debate over gay marriage because some MPs are demanding Parliament’s Anglican chapel be used for gay weddings.
St Mary Undercroft is a Church of England chapel, meaning it is legally exempt from hosting same-sex ceremonies.
To host gay weddings it would have to break off from the Anglican Church, but that would need the permission of the Queen because the chapel is under her direct control.
Correspondence has been seen by The Telegraph which shows the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, is being consulted.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is being kept informed. The speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, backs the idea in principle.
Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is gay and a former Anglican clergyman, wants the chapel to be converted into a ‘multi-denominational’ venue.
St Mary Undercroft was completed during the reign of King Edward I in 1297 and was used for worship by the Court and the Royal household.
It was one of the few areas of the Palace of Westminster to survive a fire in 1834 which destroyed both Houses of Parliament.