Royal wedding delayed as Prince plans for Pope's funeral

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Monday, April 4, 2005

The wedding of Britain’s Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles was postponed by one day to allow Prince Charles to represent the Royals at Friday's funeral of Pope John Paul II. The Royal's wedding will now be celebrated on Saturday, April 9.

The Prince cut short his Swiss skiing holiday and returned to London today. He will make travel arrangements for his trip to The Vatican on Friday, and attend a memorial service for the pope at London’s Westminster Cathedral this afternoon. Mrs. Parker Bowles will accompany him today, according to his Clarence House office.

Parker Bowles will not be joining Prince Charles for the Pope's funeral. However, Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, will be in attendance.

The change in wedding plans threw Windsor businesses in disarray, where hotels had taken bookings for Friday wedding parties. The owner of a crafts center there, Kashmir Dhillon, had to order fresh tea towels with the April 9 date. “We will be the only ones with the 9th on it if it goes ahead,” she said.

A series of postponements have hampered the Prince's and Parker Bowles' wedding arrangements. Initially they were planning to use Windsor Castle, but were unable since it was not licensed for civil ceremonies. After it moved to a more meager town hall setting, the Queen decided not to attend, immediately generating rumors of a royal snub.

The Queen will still attend the blessing ceremony at Windsor Castle afterwards.

There also was debate over what name Parker Bowles would take should her husband become King. Prince Charles liked “princess consort,” but the government says she must be called “queen,” whether she uses the title or not.

Final arrangements for the wedding will be announced soon, according to the prince's spokesperson.

Prince Charles divorced his first wife, Princess Diana in 1996, a year before she died in an automobile accident in Paris.


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