ActivePaper Archive Prince’s choice: marry her or banish her - Irish Independent 1905-current, 11/02/2005

Prince’s choice: marry her or banish her

PRINCE Charles announced his engagement to Camilla Parker Bowles yesterday after being warned that he had to marry her to avoid a looming constitutional crisis for the British monarchy.

He had been told by his most senior advisers that, effectively, he must choose between marrying or banishing his long-term partner.

Mrs Parker Bowles agreed to marriage, but only after being persuaded that the prince needed to place his personal affairs on a conventional footing before he could become king.

Initial polls suggested that Britain was divided over the prince’s decision. He has insisted Mrs Parker Bowles is a “non-negotiable’’ part of his life, yet his relationship with her destroyed his marriage to Princess Diana.

The couple will be married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Castle on April 8, followed by a blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at a chapel within the castle grounds.

Mrs Parker Bowles will have the title of HRH Duchess of Cornwall and will become the first Princess Consort when Prince Charles succeeds to the throne. She specifically requested that she should not be known as the Princess of Wales and long ago agreed with the prince that she would never become queen.

The couple made their first public appearance since the announcement at Windsor Castle last night, where Mrs Parker Bowles was wearing a platinum engagement ring <

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