Rick in Oz
2005-02-10 13:30:18 UTC
Charles to wed Camilla - but she will not be Queen
The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles are to marry on April 8 at
Windsor Castle. Clarence House confirmed the pair will finally wed more than
30 years after they first met - ending long speculation about their future.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have given the Prince of Wales and Mrs
Parker Bowles their "warmest good wishes for their future together",
Buckingham Palace said.
Princes William and Harry are "delighted" at the announcement, according to
a Clarence House aide.
Mrs Parker Bowles will use the title HRH the Duchess of Cornwall after
marriage, Clarence House said.
When Charles becomes King, Camilla will not be known as Queen Camilla but as
the Princess Consort, in an attempt to avoid further controversy.
The newly-engaged couple will make their first public appearance together as
bride and groom-to-be tonight as they attend a dinner at Windsor Castle,
where they will marry on April 8.
In a statement issued on the Queen's behalf by the Palace, she said: "The
Duke of Edinburgh and I are very happy that the Prince of Wales and Mrs
Parker Bowles are to marry."
Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "I'm delighted for the Prince of Wales and
Camilla Parker Bowles, it's very happy news."
Mr Blair said the Cabinet had sent: "Congratulations and good wishes... we
all wish them every happiness for their future together."
Downing Street categorically denied that it had leaked news of the marriage.
A senior Downing Street source said: "The number of people in No.10 who knew
of this were fewer than the fingers on one hand and they have known about it
for some time, not just last night.
"That's a categorical denial."
Queen consulted Blair
The denial came after it emerged that the Queen consulted Mr Blair before
giving her royal consent to the marriage. A Palace spokeswoman said the
Queen was consulted and aware of the Prince's plans sometime before the
"She took advice from the Prime Minister and then gave her consent," said
As Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla would take precedence within the Royal
Family as the wife of the Prince of Wales.
Camilla would, therefore, be the most senior female Royal after the Queen.
The style "Her Royal Highness" and title were decided following discussion
between the Queen and the Prince.
At present, Camilla would not be required to carry out official royal
"Such duties would be undertaken at the request of the Queen and on the
advice of her Ministers," said the Palace.
"As the wife of the Prince of Wales, she will have no constitutional role at
present. But as the Duchess of Cornwall, she will be invited to state and
national occasions at the Queen's invitation."
The Lord Chamberlain's department at Buckingham Palace would be liaising
with Clarence House on the wedding arrangements, the spokeswoman added.
Leader of the Commons Peter Hain is to make a statement to MPs in the House
of Commons this afternoon.
Tory leader Michael Howard said: "I warmly congratulate the Prince of Wales
and Mrs Parker Bowles. I wish them every happiness in their marriage."
Years of speculation
The move will end years of speculation on their relationship which has
Mrs Parker Bowles's current position meant her status was dogged with
problems, including her seating at social functions away from the heir to
But the impending wedding will now allow her to be at the Prince's side
full-time in an official capacity.
They first met at a Windsor polo match in 1970.
Last June, Mrs Parker Bowles was mentioned in the Prince's accounts - moving
into a new realm of acceptance.
This week, there was further controversy over the cost of her lifestyle and
how it was funded by the Prince.
The announcement comes before the completion of the inquest into the death
of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Former head of the Metropolitan Police Sir John Stevens is still
investigating the car crash in which she died in August 1997. The inquest
will follow this.
From Sunny Oz, Rick :)
Proud Keeper of the talented & beautiful Halle Berry.