Britain’s Friday newspapers carry front-page photos of the diamond and platinum ring that has sealed the relationship between Prince Charles and his long-time partner Camilla Parker Bowles. The couple ventured into the spotlight last night at Windsor Castle. It was their first appearance since announcing that they will be married there on April 8. According to a survey in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, two-thirds of Britons accept the heir-to-the-throne’s plans to marry Camilla, his mistress during his turbulent marriage to the late Princess Diana.
But just 37 per cent want him to become king, respecting the convention of the monarch’s eldest son assuming the throne, compared with 41 per cent who think Charles’ son Prince William assuming the throne after the death or abdication of Queen Elizabeth II.
Aware of public misgivings over his lover, Charles ruled out Camilla ever becoming queen. After the wedding she will be known as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall. If Charles becomes king, she will be known as the Princess Consort.
The marriage is likely to be a sensitive issue because Camilla Parker Bowles is divorced. Some in the Church of England oppose the remarriage of divorcees. But the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, will preside over a service after the civil marriage.