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The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"His failure to rule out marriage may be interpreted that such a step is not viewed as inconceivable"
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Lord Blake
"The Queen would have to accept the advice of the Prime Minister"
 real 28k

Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to the Queen
"[Prince Charles' response was] a polite answer to a very leading question"
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Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Prince refuses to rule out remarriage
Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles
Charles and Camilla's first public kiss
Prince Charles has indicated that he may one day remarry.

In an interview with the Daily Mail he was asked whether he planned to marry his companion Camilla Parker Bowles.

The Prince of Wales answered: "Who knows what the good Lord has planned? You can't be certain about anything."

Since his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, ended in 1996 with admissions of adultery on both sides, St James's Palace has maintained that the heir to the throne had no intention of marrying divorcee Mrs Parker Bowles.

Who knows what the good Lord has planned? You can't be certain about anything

Prince Charles
But the couple shared their first public kiss last week when the prince pecked Mrs Parker Bowles on the cheek as he arrived as her guest at a party.

Any marriage between the pair would pose considerable difficulties, not least to the Church of England since Mrs Parker Bowles is a divorcee.

The BBC's Royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the question of re-marriage is by far the most sensitive issue facing Prince Charles.

"In the past the heir to the throne has indicated that he has no intention of re-marrying," he said.

But in this interview Prince Charles' answer was ambiguous.

"His failure to rule out a marriage to Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles, may be interpreted as a sign that such a step is not now viewed as inconceivable," the royal correspondent said.

Privacy appeal

Speaking at his Highgrove home, Prince Charles also appealed for Diana and his sons, princes William and Harry, to be left alone.

"The truth is that the children mind about the way in which she is dealt with," he said.

"It must be quite difficult for them, I think.

"I wish people could just let her soul rest in peace without all these constant reminders."

I wish people could just let (Diana's) soul rest in peace without all these constant reminders

Prince Charles
Charles added of the teenagers: "They are terrific, and I am very lucky to have them."

But the prince also revealed that his sons tease him endlessly about his old-fashioned ways.

"I try to pull their legs before they pull mine off the roots," he said.

"I'm a great believer in teasing.

"But there is also a position you try to hold.

"I don't mean trying to enforce the unenforceable.

Venables and Thompson

"I just mean that, by talking and explaining, they can become a bit more aware and wiser about life.

"You have to be very careful.

"I don't think you want to be best friends with your children.

"It's more about striking a subtle balance."

"You can attempt to impose rules and regulations - but those don't always work.

In the 70-minute interview, Charles also spoke about Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, the killers of toddler James Bulger.

He said: "It was a terrible thing to have done - the poor family of the victim.

"But I've been trying to get through to people how you deal with offenders without creating this endless recidivism."

Recalling his own loneliness at boarding school, the prince added: "It doesn't matter how much money or how many possessions you have, people can still be lonely or unhappy."

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See also:

07 Jul 01 | UK
The rise of Camilla
07 Jul 01 | Talking Point
Should Charles remarry?
07 Jul 01 | UK
Charles's marriage dilemma
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