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Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 08:54 GMT 09:54 UK
Should Charles remarry?
St James's Palace had insisted that the heir to the throne had no intention of marrying divorcee Mrs Parker Bowles, but in a newspaper interview on Saturday, the Prince of Wales refused to rule it out, saying: "You can't be certain about anything."
The Church of England, of which the Queen is Supreme Governor, has strict laws on the remarriage of divorcees.
The Prince's relationship with Mrs Parker Bowles has been a contentious one, but public support for Charles and Camilla has gradually grown since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.
Do you think they should marry?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Georgios Filioussis, Germany
If that's what he really wants then it should be up to him.
It's his decision not ours.
The perfect couple to reign over this nation of adulterers.
Of course he should marry Camilla, as long as the United Kingdom then gets rid of the Royal Family.
Charles has flaws in his personality,
is good at putting his foot in it, and comes
from a family in which most of the marriages
of one generation have failed. He is
obviously a perfect reflection of the rest of us,
and the rest of us wouldn't hesitate to marry
again. As a monarchist I cast aside the silly
fairy-tale imagery and prejudices a long time ago,
when I stopped reading Penguin children's books.
Shame on those who harp on endlessly about Diana,
and shame on those who harp on endlessly about
the "unsuitability" of Camilla.
Josephine Olugbekan, Britain
If we have to have Charles - or indeed anybody - as King then it would not bother me if he were married to Camilla. As to her being known as Princess of Wales or Queen or whatever, why does she have to have any title at all? Wouldn't it befit a modern and forward-looking monarchy for her simply to be known as Mrs Windsor?
The monarchy is such an outdated institution it doesn't really matter either way. Whoever is King will have no useful purpose, so why not let the man be happy?
I don't understand why most of the comments here seem to be saying that it's OK for him just to sleep with a divorcee, but if he marries her then he can't become king. Surely that should be the other way around?
Yes, I think The Prince of Wales and Mrs PB should be allowed to marry. Charles is a man first, before a prince or king. Let him be happy. He will be a better king if he is happy in his private life. Camilla and Charles are obviously well suited.
Half of the world's population are men, why are we concerned about just one?
Jane, English in Italy
Why not? It's their life, even if the world is not amused.
Should Charles and Camilla marry? Yes, if he has no intention of becoming king. I think that Charles should be held to higher standard than the rest of us. For me, it's not just that Camilla is a divorcee, it's that she and Charles were in a relationship while he was still married. I think it is setting a bad example to say that you can have your cake and eat it too. And yes, I think the same guidelines should be held to anyone in the royal family (if Diana were alive that would include her).
I think that Charles should not marry Camilla Parker-Bowles as it would cause great scandal to the monarchy. As we know, the Queen does not like Camilla and it would not be fair for her family to be yet again in scandal and the Queen would turn in her grave when she died to know that Camilla was now queen. Charles to marry Camilla would not take the views of the Queen into account and would be very selfish on Charles's part.
I'm confused. Do the British elect their queen these days, or does the royal family still have authority on who they wish to marry?
Iain Broughton, UK
Yes, he should remarry! He is human after all and needs a life companion like us. (Anyway, he didn't have to seek the public approval when he decided to marry Diana...)
Considering the record of Henry VIII, who after all was at the basis of the concept of the king as head of the Anglican Church, it is starkly ironic that the throne would now be denied to marrying divorcees!
Does no one know English history? The monarch became Head of the Church of England after Henry VIII decided to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. The Church of England was created entirely for the purpose of divorce as Henry VIII was not opposed to any other Catholic belief except this one. Consequently Charles can be divorced and rule as King, to that there is no question. The Church of England supports divorce - that was why the Church was created - otherwise we'd all be Catholic.
Charles is a good and decent man who has done much for this country. He is well ahead on subjects such as environmentalism, GM foods, architecture and agriculture. And The Prince's Trust and the World Wildlife Foundation are just two of the many charities that he is Patron of that help those that need support. Let him re-marry whom he chooses.
I see Diana is still a saint to many people. Patron saint of adultery, fashion, the opportune photo shoot, media manipulation and bitterness. Strange how she can still ruin Charles' life from beyond the grave.
I think that Charles should decide about whether he marries Camilla or not. I think he should.
What puzzles me is why anyone is interested. The Monarchy a hopeless anachronism anyway. If he wants to marry her then he should. To me he's just a normal person like everyone else. I don't care about the constitutional position as I'm opposed to having a medieval constitution anyway.
They should get married, renounce the monarchy, ease us into a republic then jointly head up a commission to decide how to make best use of the history they and their forebears have provided.
It is in the nature of royalty that they marry mainly for breeding purposes - the question thus becomes, not whether it is moral for Prince Charles to marry Mrs Parker-Bowles, but whether there is any point to it.
Charles, his family and the church serve no real purpose any more.
At most they bring gawping Americans here to spend their money every year.
At worst they are an inherently wrong institution who only serve to chain us to a long dead and fundamentally unfair past.
Lets face it. They were drafted in during the 19th century when the last lot died off. They don't represent us and that Prince Phillip should be shipped off somewhere well away from the public eye.
I say we should get our money back off them and move on.
If Prince Charles and Mrs. Camilla Parker-Bowles wish to marry, then they should be allowed to. However, it's a constitutional fact that Prince Charles could not then not become King. If he really loves the lady, then he must be prepared to abdicate the prospect of sovereignty if he should marry.
If the Camilla/Charles match was not deemed suitable more than 20 years ago, then it should not be suitable now, regardless of changing times. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has shown utter dedication to her people and her role, and during her monarchy, no taint of impropriety has ever touched her. It really is too bad her children could not follow her example. I believe when the Princess Royal remarried in the Church of Scotland, she had to rescind all rights to the throne and if indeed this is the case, the same should be true of Prince Charles.
As head of the Church of England, he cannot remarry in that church and become king. Here is a man who wants everything his own way and if he is successful in his goal, it rather minimises the tragic life of Princess Diana doesn't it?
I'm amazed at all of the small-minded, opinionated people here.
Charles is a man - with feelings like every other.
He can marry or not - its up to him - not us.
Give the man a break!
Some of the comments here are rather amusing, to say the least, when they discuss Charles's adulterous and/or un-Christian behaviour. Considering the history of Britain's monarchy, and the behaviour of its various kings/queens, Prince Charles seems rather mild. After all, he hasn't had any body beheaded, has he? The reason all of this came about was because Charles was forced to marry someone "suitable" to be queen. And I think that Diana was more in love with the idea of marrying a prince, than with the man who actually was the prince.
If Prince Charles wants to remarry, let him. It's his life and he should live it the way he wants. This should have no affect on his public obligations.
Yes, they should. They are obviously meant for each other. She has been a tower of strength having to cope with disparaging comments, innuendo and downright untruths and has carried herself with dignity and grace. Charles deserves a good woman who is mature, understanding and copes with the media spotlight. From my observations Charles is a caring, gentle man (not perfect mind you) and I wish both of them many blessings in their future together.
Prince Charles can marry Camilla Parker Bowles if he so wishes but he should play by the rules of the game. He belongs to a hereditary institution and as the heir to the throne and head of the Church of England it is an abomination for him. Charles has the right to choose but that may make him unfit to be King.
Charles should not remarry. He should stay true to the values of the monarchy and England.
Yes, they should marry. Society has changed considerably in the 30 years since Charles and Camilla first became friends. Charles and Camilla have a future together and if the Church of England wants to protest it should examine its own hypocritical standpoint on the re-marriage of some of its own clergy. He will make a better king because he has experienced personal turmoil.
Charles should not entertain the thought of becoming King and therefore the Head of The Church of England. Charles has no regard for the Christian teaching he is supposed to follow
Had Charles not married Diana in the first place, that poor girl would not have been lying in her grave today. He married her, used her to produce his heirs and then discarded her, continuing his uninterrupted relationship with Camilla. To consider formalising this relationship, is beyond belief, a disgrace and totally flies in the face of common logic and decency.
This issue has been all over the news for two days. The media should realise that most people are not interested.
I married the woman I love for the simple reason that I wish to see out the remainder of my days with her. That Charles may wish to do the same with Camilla is his (and her) business and not ours! Leave them alone.
The wife of a Prince of Wales is not just a companion for him, but also a Princess of Wales and later queen. This is a public matter. Camilla is not wanted in either role. Charles' behaviour has been tragic for him and his family. He should just leave things as they are and not create even more mess.
Patricia long, Australia
It must be remembered that Charles had an adulterous affair with Mrs Parker Bowles while she was married to Andrew. He continued it during his marriage to H.R.H. Diana. That brands him as a scoundrel. Whether or not his conscience lets him marry Camilla my own feeling is that this is of no importance as I am sure the vast majority of our people do not want him as King.
Although everyone deserves the right to be happy how they please and with who they wish, for Charles to marry the woman he was having an affair with while married to Princess Diana is 'unkingly' as well as being in bad taste in many of the public's eyes. He has not shown himself to be a man to whom I would happily give an oath of honour as the monarch on the British throne.
After looking over all the facts and considering public opinion, a marriage would not be in the best interests for the monarchy. The monarchy stands at the will of the people, so I hope HRH considers that. I just hope that Prince Charles does not become another Edward VIII. He has some wonderful ideas for the monarchy, and I hope that he will not sacrifice all the work he has done for others by marrying a woman that the public isn't in favour of.
if HRH married MRS Parker Bowles - it would seem to me that his great uncle who wanted to do the same and had to abdicate to do so, would be slighted. There is no difference between the 2. His uncle had to give up everything to marry the woman he loved - so if HRH wants to do that, fine - if not - then he should not marry her or find someone else.
Give two persons a chance to live happily with each other. What if one of them is a royal? Do the royals not have hearts? Can Charles not love someone and marry that person like others do? His marriage with Diana may have failed but now it is time for the man to have some happiness. Just let him be.
I do not think that Prince Charles, should remarry at all, and I think that he should respect Diana's memory enough not to even think about another woman
Denise Montgomery, US
Who really cares?
They have always been in love, but were once prevented by his position from marrying. We have witnessed the result for all concerned, including the impressionable, misguided and determinedly ambitious Lady Diana Spencer. What is the objective of those who would deny their evident and enduring love and prevent them, once again, from taking the step of its natural expression in marriage? What is their alternative?
The Church of England was founded by a king who wanted divorce instead of beheading his Queens! So let's stop the fuss and allow equality from both sides.
If they want to marry then they should marry. The rest of us should mind our own business!
It seems rather unnecessary for the C of E to object to Charles being the head of the Church on the grounds of his possibly becoming (should this happen) a remarried divorcee. There are many clergy who are remarried divorcees, and whilst no doubt each of their "cases" is reviewed before they are permitted by the Church to perform their ministries, nonetheless, many are so permitted. The sad fact is that divorce is a common event in our society. A remarried divorcee monarch would for better or worse represent a sizable proportion of the nation's adult population. As to Prince Charles, he has done much to renew the architecture of our inner cities, promote youth employment, and challenge people to consider the spiritual dimension of life. He deserves credit for these contributions.
The people answering this crassly worded question in the affirmative or negative should, I think, consider that were it about them rather than two public figures, they too would very possibly consider the question offensive.
NO, NO, NO,
Someone has suggested that because of the relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William should be the next king. For his sake I hope he does not become king until he is at least 30 and married, otherwise he will have no possibility of a 'normal' life.
Charles and Camilla should not marry. If he wants to marry someone else, fine, but not her. He should fine someone who was not involved in his last marriage break-up.
Yes, he should be allowed to make a decent woman of her at last; and then the papers can get on with something more important. Be realistic, would he ditch her if he was refused permission to marry her? Would we respect him more if he married her, or if he gave her up?
Who cares they are normal people inflated to royalty by the public. I say get rid of them all and people will worry about there own lives and not that of complete strangers
King Charles and Queen Camilla - the sooner Australia becomes a republic the better!
Julie Perry, England
Who cares, it's their business, nobody is surprised when the next door neighbour gets married for the 2/3/4th time! Why would people get to vote on Charles' marriage plans, just leave the man alone, he's obviously quite happy now, at least he looks more at ease than let's sayż oh... 10/15 years ago!
Who cares if Charles should marry Camilla! A vote on the BBC web site or anywhere else means nothing if two people decide to enter into marriage - or not. Is this news?
The real issue is not whether they should or should not marry but how much longer this parasitic and ludicrous institution should survive in the 21st Century.
Yes why not, every man has the right to happiness, especially after tragedy. Some may say it was of his own making, but which of us has not made mistakes in life. For the fatheads who think Diana is an angel, she was brought in to the royal family to thin the blood of the offspring, the Spencers have traditionally provided this service to the crown. The buffoon of a brother, a spoilt kid and a spoilt sister as we have now found out, should have known this, surely their own family history should have told them of her role. If she had been really clever, instead of spoilt, then she could have played him like a puppet, let him have his mistress, I've got my boys, who would have been the winner then? Camilla is a nice lady, nothing wrong with her, the blue rinse brigade would like her, as would most children, it's only the bitchy ones who tell their young that she is the wicked witch who killed snow white.
Martin, Reading, UK
If they wish to marry, then they should be able to do so at once. When his mother dies, the monarchy will be trimmed to a one-person show and it will most likely not be him. He really is quite irrelevant and should be allowed to lead as happy a life as possible. That is a basic human right.
H.R.H. The Prince of Wales should marry Mrs Parker Bowles if he chooses, it is time we left behind the antiquated ideas of the Church deciding morality. Times have changed and, in my opinion, it is perfectly acceptable that our royal family moves with them. If it were a member of our individual family that faced this dilemma then I'm fairly certain our individual attitudes would be different... Why do some people react differently just because this topic concerns a member of our Royal Family? Be brave your Highness and do what you feel to be correct for your happiness and your family. Sincere best wishes.
Yes, leave them alone and let them have some happiness, everyone deserves that!
Eileen Arnold, England
I think they should remarry and agree that if they hadn't been so underneath and sly about their relationship in the first place, some of the public wouldn't have such a negative view on the situation - they obviously got pleasure in making Princess Diana's life a misery. Personally, I think they deserve each other. Just a voice of my opinion.
Of course they should get married. Camilla is not the problem for the House of Windsor - I believe she would be an asset instead. The problem for the British royals are that they are so many and so conservative. They should follow their cousins in Sweden instead. Our royal family can combine regality and modesty.
Who are these people, and why are those who don't know them making judgements on their personal lives?
The bending of fallible human beings to abstract and often stupid rules and outdated images is what has got the Royal Family into terrible strife over the last decade. It is abundantly clear that Charles and Camilla suit each other very well. The sooner he can make an honest woman out of her the better for him and all of us.
Whether Charles and Camilla marry or not, surely the C of E should be disestablished completely from the state. Despite hardly if at all representing the original New Testament church, it does itself no favours in remaining woven together with the present-day political machine.
Why should we continue to punish Prince Charles for the death of Diana? It was not his fault she was in a car being driven by a drunk. I wish she had not died as people may then have seen her for what she was and not portrayed her as a saint. As for Camilla, I have more respect for her than the Diana and look forward to Queen Camilla.
Queen Camilla spells the beginning of the end for the Monarchy.
Sophie Hargreaves, England
I think it is silly for people to expect Charles not to remarry. If he is in love then why on earth shouldn't he. All of these moralists who adopt the tabloid mob mentality should take a long hard look at society in general and accept that perfection is a joke. He loves her why not marry her. Regarding "Those Poor Boys" as the "This Morning / GMTV" brigade call them: Trust their father to do what is best for them. Again if the people doing the knocking are/were perfect parents then fine feel free to cast stones aplenty if not shut up!
Of course Charles and Camilla should marry if they are in love and wish to do so! I'm sure there wouldn't have been such a public outcry if Diana had wished to remarry. Good luck to both of them in their future life together.
It is apparent that Charles and Camilla do indeed love each other. People should be free to marry whomever they please. However, there are sacrifices one must make when one is the prospective head of a religious sect. One should never bend the rules that every other Anglican is forced to obey. It would assuredly affect your most devout followers adversely. Why would they respect a woman so lacking in royal comportment? Queen Elizabeth II to be followed by Queen Camilla I don't think so.
Who are we to decide if Charles should re-marry? Let him make up his own mind and live with the consequences.
Aaron Mule, England
Yes! Yes! Yes!!!
Those who feel that Charles has no right to remarry are, almost certainly, holding the Prince of Wales to a higher standard of conduct than they, or anyone they are likely to know, conform. The divorce rate in Britain is high, and most of those who divorce are likely to remarry; why should Prince Charles not enjoy the same benefits as any of his future subjects? If he and Camilla wish to marry, I think that she is likely to be a better and more stable Queen, and a stronger support to Charles, than his previous wife.
If the leaders of the Church would open their Bibles they would see that it is better for this couple to be married then to be having the privileges of the marriage bed without the sanctity of marriage. If one is concerned about what is the morally correct thing to do, then marriage is the proper option for Prince Charles and Ms Parker-Bowles.
Really - who cares?
Moore Fah, Germany
Yes, they suit each other terribly.
If Prince Charles decides to marry Camilla, he should renounce his claim to be king. How can he seriously expect Camilla to be accepted after all that has happened. These are my own views. I do wish you all the best.
As the future King of England, Charles should hold a higher standard. If he does remarry, it should not be to a woman who demolished his first marriage. What kind of an example is that setting for the rest of the world.
Like anyone else Prince Charles should be allowed to marry whom he chooses. I don't that has anything to do with if he would make a good king or not. After all shouldn't he be allowed to be happy like the rest of us.
Who are we to decide whether Prince Charles should remarry or not? I certainly wouldn't take it very well if anyone tried to tell me how to live my private life. Prince or not, we should all be entitled to freedom of choice when it comes to our personal life. Prince Charles' choice of a partner is none of my business.
For pity's sake, the guy's only human. Who are we, the public, to disallow the guy a bit of happiness? And to be so judgemental about Camilla. It was probably public pressure that ensured Charles and Camilla didn't marry in the first place.
The Prince of Wales must not marry a divorcee. If he wants to marry her I think it is a shame to The Church Of England
With reference to Gillian Frencer's remarks. I hope that the Prince has the strength to ignore comments such as the one the aforementioned made. It is of absolutely no significance whatsoever what you, I, or anybody else thinks. The main thing is that they are both happy and enjoy each other's company, and if they feel the need to secure that relationship then so be it. I am sure they will both make an informed decision on what is a very important matter. In fact, they are the only people in a suitable enough position to make a decision on the matter. No one else! Whether or not the public accepts it is irrelevant.
I think he should marry again. I am not sure Camilla is the woman - but if she is - May God bless his union with her. As to the problem of him and Camilla as king and queen - I think not. The problem is too many
people remember Diana; a person who personified Royalty. Charles - I do not know - but by all accounts he would make a very excellent king. I would be proud to serve him. He is man who is genuine but was never allowed to be. I seriously sympathise with his sons. I am sure it would be better if he allowed his elder son to reign in his stead or he could be regent until such time as William was enabled. I believe it better if Her majesty reigned till she died and allowed William to fulfill his duties thereafter if Charles married Camilla. Camilla would not be my choice as queen; but that is not the case here - it is Charles' - but he has to think of his kingdom.
It is not good for man to be alone. But let us not forget the trampling of the Princess of Wales by Charles himself with this woman Parker Bowles, and by the royal family. Princess Diana, the Queen of hearts, the treadmill, heir producer and victim of the British monarchy, know this, you are still loved, respected, and will never be forgotten or replaced by cheap imitations. As for you Charles, go ahead and marry your "mistress", but don't even think about making Camilla princess
or yourself king after all the trouble, shame and embarrassment you have caused to your former wife, family and country.
I think that Prince Charles, just like the rest of us, deserves happiness and peace in his life and if Camilla is his choice for a life mate, then so be it. The Church has no right to enforce such a ridiculous rule on re-marriage.
Mrs Gillian Frencer, UK
Charles and Camilla should marry. If only they had been open about their relationship from the very beginning Princess Diana would not have endured such a sad and betrayed existence as she did as Charles' wife. She would probably have been alive today had she and Charles never married. However, it would now be the honest thing for Charles and Camilla to get married, although the public will probably never take Camilla to their hearts.
Surely Charles should marry Camilla. He once made a huge mistake, by not marrying her in the first place, which he, for purely love reasons, should have done! Why not give him and her a second change! The church should show it is forgiving and let them remarry each other.
B Taylor, England
Should they marry? Why not? Personally I don't care! But why not a referendum on this thrilling question?
As I recall the Princess Royal has remarried without loss of popular support. Good luck to Charles and Camilla, I hope they have many happy years together.
Should Charles marry Camilla?
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