A Right Royal Shambles?
Sunday 2 October 2005
22:15 BST, BBC One
The Inside Story of the Wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla
They thought they had the law, the Church, and the press firmly on side. But when it comes to weddings anyone's plans can go awry. Panorama tells the inside story of the wedding of The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Those in the know - from former Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell to royal biographer Jonathan Dimbleby - explain why a marriage, decades in the making, led to a six week rollercoaster ride that almost ended in disaster.
For Prince Charles, the potential risks of a controversial marriage were becoming outweighed by the obvious disadvantages of living in sin. And having spent many turbulent years attempting to win the public round to his relationship with Camilla, the Heir to the Throne might have thought the road to his wedding would be relatively straightforward. But as Panorama reveals, nothing could be further from the truth.
Examining the role of the Church, the Government, both Royal households, (Buckingham Palace and Clarence House) and the media, Panorama explores why plans for the wedding came so badly adrift that the Editor of the Daily Telegraph tells the programme "it was an absolutely enormous cock-up."
Days after the wedding was announced Panorama first revealed doubts that it would be legal for Prince Charles to have a civil ceremony at all. And other embarrassing problems were to follow - a mix up over the venue; dissent within the Church of England; the Queen's decision not to attend part of the big day; a disastrous gaffe by the Prince in the media; and the possibility of a clash with the Pope's funeral.
Clarence House was mocked for ineptitude and lack of foresight. But on the wedding day the immediate problems were overcome. And the Prince and his advisers have now finally secured Camilla's place in the Royal Family. Panorama asks whether they have finally outwitted the sceptics, or whether their greatest challenge still remains - persuading the British public to accept Camilla as their Queen.
Reporter: Steve Bradshaw
Producer/Director: Alice Perman
Deputy Editors: Andrew Bell, Frank Simmonds
Editor: Mike Robinson
A Mentorn Production for the BBC