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Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 20:59 GMT 21:59 UK
Public kiss for Charles and Camilla
Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles
Mrs Parker Bowles was hosting a charity event
The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles have taken another step on the road to public acceptance as he arrived as her guest at a charity reception.

Mrs Parker Bowles was there to officially receive the Prince at the event at London's Somerset House in aid of the National Osteoporosis Society.

Wearing a lilac chiffon cocktail dress by Antony Price, Mrs Parker Bowles greeted him with a smile.

He put his right hand on her arm and kissed her lightly on both cheeks, mouthing an affectionate "hello".

It is the first time in public the Prince has played a supporting role for Mrs Parker Bowles at an official function, rather than the other way round.

Queen Rania

As patron of the National Osteoporosis Society, she was hosting the star-studded drinks reception in the courtyard of historic Somerset House to mark the charity's 15th birthday.

Royal watchers said it was the first public kiss for the couple.

The Prince had arrived with Queen Rania of Jordan, who is the president of the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

Mrs Parker Bowles curtsied to her as she greeted her ahead of Charles.

Also in the line-up were Lord Rothschild, a friend of Mrs Parker Bowles, the director of the society, Linda Edwards, and its chairman, Professor Graham Russell.

Camilla's children

Among about 200 guests at the reception were EastEnders' actress Barbara Windsor, comedian Jim Davidson, actress Wendy Craig and King and Queen Constantine of Greece.

Also there were Mrs Parker Bowles's children Laura and Tom, and her sister, Annabel Elliot.

The party took place under a steel marquee next to a set of fountains and guests were served with wine and canapes.

Mrs Edwards said: "Osteoporosis is bad news for the many who have it.

"In the worst cases, the pain is excruciating, the height loss dramatic, the deformity soul-destroying and the premature loss of a busy, happy, vibrant life shocking and wasteful.

Bone disease

"But the good news is, osteoporosis is largely preventable and treatable."

One in three women and one in 12 men over the age of 50 will develop the fragile bone disease.

Mrs Parker Bowles became patron of the charity in 1995 after the death of her mother Rosalynd Shand, 73, of osteoporosis in 1994.

The National Osteoporosis Society offers support and information to sufferers of the condition and to health care professionals.

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