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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"
 real 56k

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"
 real 56k

Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Charles in 'no-win situation'
Camilla Parker-Bowles and Prince Charles
Does Prince Charles want to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles?
The media explosion that followed Prince Charles's comments on remarriage are based on "pure speculation".

Former Buckingham Palace press officer Dickie Arbiter told BBC News 24: "At no time did he say "yea" or "nay".

"He has taken not an easy option but a very difficult way out of a leading question by saying "well I live for today and see what tomorrow brings'."

Mr Arbiter said the prince was in a no-win situation whatever answer he gave.


The question is do they need to get married, the answer probably not

Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to the Queen
"If he had said yes he was going to remarry you can see the newspaper headlines... if he had said no it would also have created more newspaper headlines and rumbled on and on."

Asked whether he thought the prince needed to marry Camilla Parker Bowles, his long-term companion, Mr Arbiter said: "They are two middle-aged people enjoying a very close relationship.

"The question is do they need to get married, the answer probably not."


I think the Queen would have to accept the advice of the prime minister

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

Constitutional expert Lord Blake told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that Prince Charles could not remarry without the permission of the Queen, who would be given advice by the prime minister.

"The marriage of the heir to the throne is an important matter and she would consult the prime minister and be advised by him."

Once she had sought advice the Queen would be bound to act on it, he said.

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