Prince Charles will marry his long-term partner Camilla Parker Bowles on 8 April, Clarence House says.
The ceremony will take place at Windsor Castle and Mrs. Parker Bowles will take the title HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, BBC NewsOnline reported this morning.
When the Prince of Wales becomes King, Camilla will not be known as Queen Camilla but as the Princess Consort, Clarence House added.
The move will end years of speculation on a relationship that has spanned the decades since they first met in 1971.
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
Charles was married to Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in 1997.
The princess famously referred to Mrs. Parker Bowles as one of the contributing factors in the breakdown of her marriage to Charles.
The couple, who had two sons – princes William and Harry – had divorced when Diana died in Paris, eight years ago.
Conservative leader Michael Howard said he was “delighted” at the news.
Mrs Parker Bowles’ current position has meant that her status was dogged with problems, including her seating at social functions away from her partner.
Last June, Mrs. Parker Bowles was mentioned in the Prince’s accounts, which marked a new realm of acceptance.
The marriage is likely to be a sensitive issue because Mrs. Parker Bowles is divorced and her former husband is still alive.
If he became king, Charles would be the supreme governor of the Church of England and some Anglicans remain opposed to the remarriage of divorcees.
The church is officially neutral on the issue, but former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey recently urged the couple to marry.
BBC Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell said: “This is a step not without considerable risk by the Royal Family.
“They will be watching very carefully to see how public opinion unfolds.”
Last year, a poll indicated that more Britons support Prince Charles marrying Camilla Parker Bowles than oppose it.
Of those who responded to a Populus poll, 32 per cent said they would support Charles if he remarried, while 29 per cent were opposed.
However, most people – 38 per cent – said they did not care, while 2 per cent had no opinion.
Mrs. Parker Bowles has joined the Prince at numerous engagements in recent years – mostly at evening events for The Prince’s Trust.
Clarence House staff were at pains to point out that she attended these events in a private capacity.
But the impending wedding will now allow her to be at the Prince’s side full-time in an official capacity.
What do you think?
Prince Charles has finally gotten permission to marry long-time lover Camilla Parker-Bowles. Let us know what you think. Send your comments to Tammie C. Chisholm, Caymanian Compass, PO Box 1365 GT, Grand Cayman or e-mail them to [email protected]