Friday, April 09, 2010

Pop History Moment: The Marriage of Charles and Camilla


On this day in 2005 The Prince of Wales wed his longtime mistress Camilla Parker Bowles at a much smaller event in Windsor than accompanied his first marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales in July 1981.

Immediately upon the announcement of the impending nuptials a series of constitutional snarls arose, regarding what titles Mrs. Parker-Bowles would have (both now and in the the future), and even whether a member of the royal family could marry in a civil ceremony (since they are technically the property of the State). It turns out that the royals are covered by the Human Rights Act 1998 - which is only fair, since they are the smallest minority community in the UK - and that legislation cleared the way for the marriage.

The couple's stated desire to have the ceremony at Windsor Castle would have opened the floodgates for all sorts of people to marry there, so during the planning stage the venue was changed to the Guildhall in Windsor, which is just outside the gates of the majestic castle. Finally, the date of the wedding had to be postponed one day to allow for the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

All of which could have been avoided by simply allowing them to marry when they first met in 1969. Still, the various compromises which have allowed them to be together - for instance, her use of the title Duchess of Cornwall now rather than Princess of Wales, and her future use of the title Princess Consort rather than Queen - seem to have outraged everyone, indicating that they are, in fact, compromises*.

*The word 'compromise' being Latin for 'nobody gets what they want'.

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