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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April 2005, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Starry roll call for royal wedding
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
Charles and Camilla have invited 800 guests to the blessing
Celebrities from the worlds of stage, screen, literature and broadcasting are set to attend Saturday's royal wedding reception.

And the eclectic guest list suggests there will be lively conversation at the Windsor Castle reception that follows the service of blessing.

Veteran US comedy star Joan Rivers will rub shoulders with Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh, while Charles and Camilla will be able to compare wedding gifts with Kumars newly-weds Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal.

The Queen, meanwhile, will be able to catch up with Prunella Scales, who memorably played her in 1992 television drama A Question of Attribution.

'Sense of humour'

Bhaskar, who married his Goodness Gracious Me co-star Syal in January, is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust - a role that almost cost him his wedding invitation.

"I went to Belfast in place of the Prince of Wales because he couldn't make it," he said recently.

Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar
Syal and Bhaskar tied the knot themselves in January
"I was asked to make a speech so I did an impersonation of the prince. A week later, I got a letter from him saying: 'I hear you do an impression of me. I will be checking it.'

"It's lucky he has such a good sense of humour."

So has the Queen if remarks attributed to her during Scales's investiture in 1992 are accurate.

Her performance in A Question of Attribution reportedly led Her Majesty to remark "I suppose you think you ought to be doing this" when awarding her a CBE.

The actress, whose husband Timothy West will read William Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality at the blessing, has made a speciality of royal roles.

In addition to playing Charles's mother, she also portrayed his great-great-great grandmother in the one-woman stage show An Evening with Queen Victoria.

Outspoken defender

The world of music will be represented by jazz pianist Jools Holland and conductor Christopher Warren-Green.

Both Holland and Trudie Styler, wife of rock star Sting, are supporters of the Prince's Trust, while Warren-Green will lead the Philharmonia Orchestra during the service of prayer and dedication.

Jilly Cooper
Jilly Cooper received an OBE in 2004 for services to literature
Edward Fox, Richard E Grant and Prince's Trust ambassador Joanna Lumley bolster the acting contingent, while the literary world will be represented by authors John Mortimer, Robert Harris and Jilly Cooper.

Fox, like Prunella Scales, has a history of playing royals and is best remembered for his portrayal of Edward VIII in the 1978 television drama Edward and Mrs Simpson.

Last year Charles and Camilla saw him on stage in The Old Masters at London's Comedy Theatre.

Cooper, meanwhile, has been an outspoken defender of the prince's relationship with Mrs Parker Bowles.

"They are a couple. Why does everybody go on about everything?" she said in November.

Broadcasters on the guest list include Sir David Frost, Melvyn Bragg and the prince's official biographer Jonathan Dimbleby.

'Complete surprise'

Sir David interviewed the prince on the eve of his investiture in 1969, while Dimbleby wrote and presented Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role - the 1994 documentary in which he admitted his affair with Camilla.

"Mrs Parker Bowles is a great friend of mine and will continue to be a friend for a very long time," he said in the programme.

Sir David Frost
Sir David Frost will be accompanied by his wife, Lady Corina
Other guests include Oscar-winning playwright Ronald Harwood, writer and broadcaster William Shawcross and the biographer and novelist Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Comedians Rowan Atkinson and Stephen Fry are also invited, while Camilla will be able in person to thank Anna Valentine and Philip Treacy, designers of her dress and hat respectively.

But it is not just household names who will be toasting the health of the bride and groom.

There is also room for Barbara Fell, landlady of one of the prince's favourite pubs, and Joe and Hazel Relph, owners of the Yew Tree Farm Bed and Breakfast in Cumbria where he has stayed on several occasions.

Mrs Relph said it had been "a complete surprise" to receive the formal invitation.


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