Britain’s heir to the throne Prince Charles is to marry his longtime lover Camilla Parker Bowles. The wedding will take place on April 8 at Windsor Castle, where the couple first met in 1971. The 56-year-old Prince of Wales was previously married to Princess Diana. The couple, who had two sons, Princes William and Harry, divorced in 1996, a year before Diana died in a car crash. The princess famously referred to Camilla as one of the contributing factors in the breakdown of her marriage. Camilla, who is 58 years old, has faced an uphill struggle to win public affection.
Charles is due to assume the throne from his mother Queen Elizabeth. As monarch, he would also assume a titular role as head of the Church of England, which is divided over the issue of marrying divorcees. Last year’s changes in church rules mean the prince could marry his partner in a religious ceremony even though her former husband Andrew is still alive.
Camilla, who will assume the title Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, has made carefully choreographed appearances with the prince. The wedding will allow her to be at the prince’s side full-time in an official capacity. Once Charles becomes king, his wife will be called Princess Consort, and will not be crowned queen. The decision is aimed at killing off constitutional controversy over her role.