Since first announcing they were to be married, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’s nuptial plans have been plagued by problems. It has now been announced that, since the Vatican made public the date for John Paul II’s funeral, the couple are postponing their big day. Instead of marrying on Friday as originally planned, Charles will travel to Rome to pay his respects to the late Pope and then marry on Saturday.
The Prince is due to represent the Queen in Rome. The Prime Minister had also been invited to Prince Charles’s wedding. Following the decision to change the wedding date, Downing Street confirmed Tony Blair would also attend the funeral.
The civil ceremony – which is planned to take place on Saturday morning – will be performed at Windsor’s Guildhall, followed by a church blessing in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which the Queen will attend.
Three other couples are holding their weddings at the town hall on the same day, but aides insist there will be no disruption to their celebrations. A spokeswoman for Clarence House said: “One of our main priorities is not to disrupt the civil ceremonies which will be taking place on that day. Further details about the timing will be released as soon as possible.” Paddy Harverson, Clarence House’s communications secretary, said the Prince felt that switching the date was “absolutely the right thing to do”.
The Queen’s decision to stay away from the civil ceremony, the row over whether Camilla Parker Bowles would ever be known as Queen and the change in venues from Windsor Castle to the local town hall, have all featured in the long list of problems the wedding has faced.
The civil ceremony will take place on Saturday morning ahead of the other weddings and prior to the start of the Grand National at Aintree.