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Monday, 12 June, 2000, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Should Prince Charles be allowed to marry Camilla?
Prince Charles' companion, Camilla Parker Bowles is reported to have had six secret meetings with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey.
They are said to have talked about her relationship with the Prince of Wales.
The news comes as the press and public give their backing to the couple's long-standing relationship, after the Queen met Mrs Parker Bowles at a party on Saturday for the first time in years.
Critics within the Church of England are still set-against the couple tying the knot, but what do you think? Is it time the future king was allowed to re-marry? If they were given the go-ahead do you think Camilla should become the next Queen?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
These are two apparently very self-centred, rather silly, middle-aged people of limited intelligence behaving entirely predictably. Their love life is no business of mine, or anyone else. At least if they married, we may be spared more of the Prince of Wales' lectures on how we should live our lives.
Why doesn't he consider relinquishing his claim to the throne? He can then get married and there will be no conflict for the constitutional issues.
Why not? After all, everyone else in the country is allowed to remarry. Why should the rules be any different for the future head of state?
With good marketing, anything can be sold. However, Camilla the mistress is one thing, but Queen Camilla - perlease!!
Karen Smith, Canada
The issue of marriage between Prince Charles and Camilla is a joke. Prince Charles should move on with his life, especially for the sake of his children.
It's the hypocrisy of the situation that surprises me with the palace "machine" trying to manipulate us into accepting the situation between Camilla and Charles.
Camilla caused a great deal of unhappiness in her own marriage and for her family as well as in Charles and Diana's relationship. She cannot have been unaware of the psychological effects this was having on a young
girl like Diana.
I am so fed-up hearing people going on about 'poor Diana'. She was no saint. Was Camilla the cause of the failed marriage - we'll never know for sure? Royalty have married for convenience (and heirs) for a very long time - it has not changed. If Prince Charles wants to marry the woman he loves, why not? I admit to having trouble with the idea of Queen Camilla, but as a Catholic, she couldn't anyway. Leave them alone to choose their lives - the media and public interfere too much as it is.
Now why shouldn't Charles marry Camilla?
Oh yes, because the Church of England
mustn't be headed by a divorced person.
Like, for example, Henry VIII...
Camilla would make a fine Queen!
"King Charles and Queen Camilla" sounds fine to me.
NO! Charles is head of the church he knows better.
J Wickens, Australia
If Charles and Camilla wish to get married, there is always the morganatic route. How do we presume to say anything about either of their first marriages - none of us were under the same roof, and the chatterers cannot have been the very good friends they pretended. Good luck to them, let them get on with their lives, and we can get on with ours.
I do hope they will get married. I like them both and I certainly wish them all the best. I think that after all these years they deserve it.
Dianne Lam, UK
To be honest, who cares? This monarchy's pompous refusal to adapt to the times has made it an international joke. Who marries who makes little difference?
Give the guy a break, he's been "on duty" his entire life, a half century of service to his nation. Seems most of the scandals and troubles in his life were associated with him "doing his duty" or what was "proper" according to his stature. Rather than doing what was actually best for him - so if Camilla and Charles believe they make a good pair - let them be so in peace.
Yes, they could marry but he should give up the throne - he married Diana for heirs which she gave him - after that he did not respect Diana as a wife. Camilla helped to "make" and "break" the marriage - she "ruled" Charles who does not have a backbone - she can still rule him but not UK - he is not fit to rule - he is better he stays out of the public view with his lover.
It's more than a little odd that, under British law, a 52-year-old man is not allowed to marry his girlfriend without the permission of his mother or the government.
How can they marry when she is not divorced yet, and how can the British public agree with this, as she was the one who broke his marriage to Diana. How will his sons feel about all this, or is it that they do not have any say in this matter?
Why oh why do we always seem to have this need to meddle in other people's lives anyway? I just can't understand the fascination or what kind of kick can be got out of it. Let them live their lives the way they want to!
The very notion that Charles needs to be "allowed" to marry Camilla is laughable. This is an accomplished grown man who should be left to decide his own fate, not seek validation from the Queen, the media or anyone else for that matter.
Considering that the Church of England was founded by a man who was not only an adulterer, but also had his wives murdered, I can't really see what the problem is with Charles being its head.
Paul Allen, British, living in Netherlands
Good Luck to Charles and Camilla. They make a smashing couple and would make a Brilliant King and Queen. They make each other very happy and what is wrong with that. Who are we to prejudge happiness? Go for it Charlie!!!
Under the British constitution if Prince Charles were to marry Camilla she would automatically become Queen when Charles succeeds his mother. There is no question of him giving up the throne. He is well qualified through his life long public service. If I had to choose between the Prince and someone like Bill Clinton to head a nation the Prince would get my vote every time.
David Parry, Wales
First let them marry.
Then, when the Queen dies we become a republic. Then we can get on with the important things in life without being bombarded with details of the personal lives of two (rather spoilt and pampered) fellow humans.
I think the two of them probably deserve
each other - so if they want to marry, let them!
However, she should NEVER be given the
title of Queen!!!
Too horrible to think about!
Although I agree with the idea that the two should enjoy a marital relationship, I disagree that the archbishop of Canterbury should officiate at the ceremony. Possibly a reverend or village chaplain should do it.
Grace Akello, Uganda
Despite Charles' infidelity with Camilla Parker-Bowles which was the main cause of his marriage break-up with the late Princess of Wales, now he and Camilla are now both free to do so, Charles should make an honest woman of Camilla.
Of course they should be allowed to marry, if they love each other. We are fooling ourselves if we think for one minute that Charles had a "real marriage" with Diana. Love, whatever that is, was never a part of that union, convenience was.
So long as King Charles and Queen Camilla of Australia never happens, then I don't really care.
While I'm not a member of the Church of England, I do know that the monarch is the Defender of the Faith. How can Charles expect the country and the Commonwealth to accept him as our King if he cannot control his own life and behave like a king should? I would not swear allegiance to him as I have to his Grandfather and Mother.
I do not think that anyone has the right to deny Charles and Camilla the happiness that they have strived so long for. Should they get married, Charles should, like those before, renounce his right to the throne.
Nsubuga Edward, Uganda - East Africa
Who the hell are we to decide the future
of Prince Charles. If he wants to marry
Camilla, let it be. Grow up everyone!
(This may sound flippant but really, there are far more important things to worry about in life)!
What everyone seems to be forgetting is that the Church of England was founded in the first place by Henry VII because the Catholic Church refused to let him divorce! He then went on to have six different wives, all of whom served as Queen.
Paul A D Bennett, Great Britain
The latest news regarding the Queen meeting with Camilla sounds to me like the latest ploy in a 3 year plan to eventually bring the public around to support Charles and Camilla. In a way, I feel subtly manipulated by the Palace press machine. It isn't a case of being on Charles side or Diana's side anymore. It is a case of whether or not the figurehead of the Church of England should be able to marry a divorcee and sit on the throne. In my opinion, no.
Kathleen Cameron, UK
I don't know which members of the public are asked for their opinion, but such high figures of acceptance do not seem realistic. I, for one, will always blame both Charles and Camilla for the eventual death of Diana - they brought about the circumstances. Yes, let them marry, they deserve each other, but Charles should renounce all rights to the throne and let it pass to William.
Until the Royal Family can evolve to resemble the other, lower-profile European monarchies, releasing some of their hold on the public imagination, they will need to be as conservative as possible after the debacles of recent years.
The comments from other correspondents suggesting that Charles can marry Camilla if he stood down in favour of his son, completely miss the point of the monarchy. No matter what Charles does he will be king. No matter what people think should happen, they have no say in who will succeed the Queen. The monarchical succession is assured. Charles will be the next King, Camilla may not be Queen (as a sop to public opinion), but Charles will be King.
We may never truly understand the complexities and background to the Charles and Camilla saga, but they seem to have a permanent, if not legal partnership.
If they were ordinary people, nothing would stand in the way of their marriage but Prince Charles has always known that he is not part of ordinary life. Rightly or wrongly, he knew the rules and broke them.
He cannot have his cake and eat it. Princess Diana gave up HRH, because of her chosen lifestyle. Charles can have the life and the partner of his choice if he gives up his right of succession to the throne.
It is time to stop playing games and clear the air.
I'd wholeheartedly endorse such a marriage. Camilla's extremely unattractive features will make it far more difficult to market the "royal family" concept and hopefully this will contribute to the decline in the over-privileged archaic atrocity that is the monarchy.
It is none of our business. It is up to them. If they want to marry, then of course they should.
It is deplorable hypocrisy for the more hysterical parts of the media to whip up misplaced sentiment about this, much in the same way they did when Diana died. My view is that we should all mind our own business and leave it up to the Prince and Mrs Parker Bowles.
I would be happy for both of them to get married on the condition that when HM the Queen dies (or wishes to step down) then HRH Prince William should be King. This would help to prevent any possible split within the UK over whether or not Charles behaved correctly.
If Prince Charles wants to be head of state/ church then he should accept some responsibility. He cannot continue in his privileged position if he demonstrates such continuing hypocrisy - it is an embarrassing insult to the nation.
If he want to marry Camilla, then he should forgo his right to the throne, and make way for a more capable King.
If Camilla had any self-respect she wouldn't marry Charles. He married someone else when he was supposedly still in love with her, had two very handsome sons with his wife, then decided that he had got what he wanted from that relationship and chose to go back to his "first love". Charles has proved he doesn't know how to treat women with respect, as adultery is disrespectful. In fact, both of them deserve each other as it would seem that they are both deceitful people with no regard for other people's feelings.
Amy Halse, Germany
If they love each other, then why not. It seems the norm to criticise the royal family. Well, I for one am proud to have one. I always felt that Charles, from a young age, was pressurised by family and protocol away from the woman he has loved for most of his life. It just goes to show that no matter what, true love conquers all. I wish them all the very best.
Charles may have a soul mate in Camilla but, fairly or not, many people still blame her for breaking up the marriage to Diana and would not readily accept Camilla as Queen, the role Diana was destined for. Besides, aren't Charles and Camilla happy as they are? Isn't Camilla happier being in the background?
05 Jun 00 | UK
Camilla 'holds talks with Archbishop'
03 Jun 00 | UK
Charles welcomes Camilla breakthrough
29 Jan 99 | UK
Charles and Camilla: a long friendship
29 Jan 99 | UK
Charles and Camilla go public
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