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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.


Your reaction



At least if they married, we may be spared more of the Prince of Wales' lectures on how we should live our lives

Tom Holt, UK
Do we care? I'm not anti-monarchist, but I certainly don't wake up in the morning wondering if the Prince of Wales should marry or not!
Edward, UK

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.
Tom Holt, UK

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.
Austin Flood, UK

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?
Mark Woodward, UK

With good marketing, anything can be sold. However, Camilla the mistress is one thing, but Queen Camilla - perlease!!
Jo, Australia



Prince Charles should move on with his life, especially for the sake of his children

Liam Sellers, Jr, Boston, USA
I think the Royal Princes have been through enough lately. Charles should think more about them and the added exposure all this would bring to them. If still he wants to still see Camilla he should do so in private.
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.
Liam Sellers, Jr, Boston, USA.

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.
Christine, England

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.
Annette, expat, Dubai, UAE



It would be a terrible mistake to "negotiate" morality rather than church and royal traditions

Jenny, UK
As much as I respect Prince Charles and his right to be happy, I dislike Camilla and all that she stands for as a marriage wrecke. I think Prince Charles, though he would make a good king, he must choose between her and the throne like every other king before him. Prince Charles would make a very good advisor to Prince William who, in case his father cannot "negotiate" Camilla, should take over from the Queen. It would be a terrible mistake to "negotiate" morality rather than church and royal traditions.
Jenny, UK

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...
Bancroft Gracey, British, in Utah, USA

Camilla would make a fine Queen!
Jim Cunningham, USA

"King Charles and Queen Camilla" sounds fine to me.
Vincent Bolger, UK

NO! Charles is head of the church he knows better.
Brenda, British living in Canada



Charles should step down in favour of Prince William.

J Wickens, Australia
If Prince Charles wishes to marry Mrs Parker-Bowles, then let him go ahead and do it, but he should step down in favour of Prince William. I don't think Charles is fit to be king. He never has or ever will have the respect of the people the way Diana did, and it looks as though young William will have.
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.
Jeanne, UK

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.
Elena, Italy



At last, thank God, it looks as if the Royal Family is beginning to act with decency.

Dianne Lam, UK
At last, thank God, it looks as if the Royal Family is beginning to act with decency. If Charles does not have the courage to marry Camilla, I for one will be most sad. They have both had a long wait... too long. He was trapped into a sad marriage which was a duty, and should never have been, but in the moral climate of that time, I understand how it happened, and how it all went wrong. Camilla has had to put up with a barrage of offensive comment from all and sundry and in the press. Much of this was spiteful and aimed at her appearance.... which is actually lovely, but people were being brainwashed into saying otherwise! Though what appearance has to do with anything beats me! No, marry the lovely lady, Charles, and be a man!
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?
Toby, UK

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.
Stephen Kenney, USA



We impose our views of what is acceptable upon a man who has been chained by protocol his whole life

David, England
What have Charles and Camilla done that is so bad? The concept of marriage and family has changed beyond recognition. Yet we impose our views of what is acceptable upon a man who has been chained by protocol his whole life. Although Prince Charles is not perfect (be honest, who is) he deserves an opportunity to be happy and have a go at the role he has been training for his whole life.
David, England

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.
Aika Dew, Australia

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.
Andy, Canada

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?
Miss Hussan, England

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!
Caroline, UK

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.
Matthew Cuming, Australia



If Charles had been allowed to marry Camilla in the first place, instead of being pressured into a marriage with the more "suitable" Diana, a lot of people might have been spared much grief and anguish

Paul Allen, Netherlands
If Charles had been allowed to marry Camilla in the first place, instead of being pressured into a marriage with the more "suitable" Diana, a lot of people might have been spared much grief and anguish.
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!!!
Michael Townsend, England

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.
John Nevitt, UK



If Prince Charles wishes to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles then I think he should give up any claim to becoming King

David Parry, Wales
Following the precedent of the Duke of Windsor, if Prince Charles wishes to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles then I think he should give up any claim to becoming King and the then heir would become Prince William. The question was asked are the Royal Family maintaining moral values and obviously, besides the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, they are not! My opinion is dependent on Prince William choosing an appropriate bride (commoner or not).
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.
Tim, UK

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!
Pat Boulton, South Africa



What other option is there? Should we cover our heads in the sand and pretend that there is no relationship between Charles and Camilla?

Grace Akello, Uganda
What other option is there? Should we cover our heads in the sand and pretend that there is no relationship between Charles and Camilla, when the two love birds are in actual sense husband and wife already?
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.
The biggest problem would be what type of ceremony? Camilla is Roman Catholic and Charles C of E, and as he is heir apparent, this could cause constitutional problems.
Hazel, UK



So long as King Charles and Queen Camilla of Australia never happens, then I don't really care

Sarah, Australia
While I wish the Prince of Wales well, I think he should stop using his messed up "childhood" as an excuse for his outrageous behaviour during his marriage to Diana. While she had her problems, she didn't deserve to have another woman thrown in her face day in and day out. I just hope that William and Harry never forget just how special their mother was. I know the rest of the world won't.
Teresa, USA

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.
Gladys, USA, born in Scotland

So long as King Charles and Queen Camilla of Australia never happens, then I don't really care.
Sarah, Australia

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.
James, Canada

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.
Andreas Selwood, England



Whether we want it or not Charles is in love with Mrs Camilla Parker.

Nsubuga Edward, Uganda - East Africa
I would say that in any relationship love and intimacy override other factors. Whether we want it or not Charles is in love with Mrs Camilla Parker. We should have responsibility of accepting them in society and accept their feelings as well. However for the case of monarchy, Charles should give up his title to the sweet son William.
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!
Rosna, Malaysia

Who cares? (This may sound flippant but really, there are far more important things to worry about in life)!
Chris Gilmartin, UK

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.
In refusing to let Charles live the life he chooses to lead, the Church is going against its own principles... One day Charles will be King and it will be up to him whether or not he marries Camilla and she becomes Queen. Hopefully common sense will prevail, rather than misplaced moral judgements, and this will be the case.
JG, France



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

Margaret, Canada
It is incredible that in the 21st century a nation should accept a figurehead without preconditions. His behaviour over the Camilla issue prior to and after the tragic death of the Princess of Wales is, to many, behaviour we would not be prepared to accept from our own family members.
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.
Margaret, Canada



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

Brian Binney, UK
According to my Oxford dictionary the definition of "mistress" is a "man's illicit female lover". What's so illicit about 2 single people being together in a fulfilling relationship? Before anyone starts yelling about Camilla breaking up the marriage, does anyone in this day seriously believe that she was the sole cause of Charles and Diana's marriage imploding?
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.
Margaret Carre, Belgium

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.
A M Cooper, U S A

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.
Brian Binney, UK

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.
Pat van der Veer, British in Canada



My view is that we should all mind our own business and leave it up to the Prince and Mrs Parker Bowles

Helen H, UK
I think Charles and Camilla should be allowed to marry because everyone deserves some happiness. However, one must not forget at what price that happiness was bought. An act of contrition for the wrongs done to Diana, presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury at some stage before their wedding, would be beneficial to the couple and to the nation. However Camilla should never be Queen, that role was to have been Diana's.
Hilary, England

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.
M. Moran, UK

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.
Helen H, UK



If they are to enjoy a church wedding, then does this not mean that the church has once and for all got to sort itself out over the issue of divorced people re-marrying?

Philip, UK
If they are to enjoy a church wedding then does this not mean that the church has once and for all got to sort itself out over the issue of divorced people re-marrying? Or will Charles do what Anne did and get married in Scotland?
Philip, UK

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.
David, UK

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.
Martin Dart, Oxford, UK

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.
Michelle, UK



If Charles wishes to marry again then let him. Everyone should have happiness in his or her life, and I don't suppose he has had much

Amy Halse, Germany
Although I disagree with having a monarchy, I feel that if we are stuck with it, then they should at least be allowed to behave like normal human beings. If Charles wishes to marry again then let him. Everyone should have happiness in his or her life, and I don't suppose he has had much. However, I do not think that Camilla should become Queen. I don't have any structured comments to add here, but I have a gut feeling that says "no". Might have something to do with not liking the woman very much.
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.
Philip Levy, UK

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?
Sally, UK

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