Thursday, February 10, 2005
Prince Charles, Britain's heir to the throne, has announced that he is to wed his lover of 34 years, Camilla Parker Bowles. In a press statement, the Prince of Wales said “Mrs Parker Bowles and I are absolutely delighted. It will be a very special day for us and our families.”
Mrs Parker Bowles will use the title "HRH The Duchess of Cornwall" after their marriage, and it is intended that following the Prince's accession to the throne, Mrs Parker Bowles will use the title "HRH The Princess Consort".
The pair are to marry on 8th April 2005 at a private civil ceremony in Windsor Castle, which will be an occasion primarily for friends and family. There will then be a service of prayer and dedication in St. George's Chapel, to be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.
Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh also released a press statement saying: "The Duke of Edinburgh and I are very happy that The Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles are to marry. We have given them our warmest good wishes for their future together."
The proposed wedding is likely to raise many religious and constitutional questions, especially as Mrs Parker Bowles is divorced and her husband is still alive. However, the Archbishop of Canterbury said "I am pleased that Prince Charles and Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles have decided to take this important step."
The marriage will end many years of speculation spanning a relationship which has lasted since 1971. Following the death of the Prince's previous wife, Princess Diana, media speculation about the couple has increased.
== References ==
BBC News. "Prince Charles to marry Camilla" — BBC News Online, February 10, 2005
Reuters. "UK's Charles and Camilla to Marry on April 8" — Reuters, February 10, 2005
Clarence House/PA. "Announcement of the marriage of HRH The Prince of Wales and Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles" — Clarence House, February 10, 2005