[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 12:06 GMT
No best man at Charles' wedding
Prince Charles and Camilla
The wedding is due to take place on 8 April in Windsor Guildhall
The Prince of Wales will not have a best man when he marries his long-term partner Camilla Parker Bowles.

Heirs to the throne usually have two "supporters", or best men, at the ceremony, but Clarence House says "it's not that sort of wedding".

On Monday, law experts said royals could not have English civil marriages and would have to wed in Scotland.

But the lord chancellor insists the marriage, set to take place at Windsor Guildhall on 8 April, is legal.

Royal-watchers speculated that Princes William and Harry would perform the best men role for their father.

But a Clarence House spokesman said: "The two boys will have a role throughout the wedding in so much as being by their father's side."

At his previous marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, the prince chose his brothers the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex as supporters.

Legal position

On Monday Sir Nicholas Lyell, a former attorney general, suggested emergency legislation may be needed to clarify the legal position before the wedding.

He said he felt "disquiet" about the government's advice to the Queen.

"I don't think she has been given enough advice," he told the BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

Sir Nicholas believes the 1949 Marriage Act, which updated the law on civil marriages in England, excluded the Royal Family.

He said this would leave them subject to historic laws requiring marriage in church.

But Lord Falconer, the lord chancellor, believes the 1949 Act covers the Royal Family.

Mrs Parker Bowles, 57, and Prince Charles, 56, announced their engagement earlier this month.

Your comments

Have these people got nothing better to do? Let the poor man marry whom he likes where he likes, in peace and quiet (as long as it isn't costing the public). Wasting resources and learned people's time arguing over trivial and irrelevant points of "law" is ridiculous.
Simon, Bristol, UK

If he cannot have a Best Man who will arrange the stag night? Prince Harry?
Matt W, Trowbridge

I hope that this couple can marry, but I also hope to see a clarification of the civil marriage law by Parliament. Otherwise, this wedding will turn into just a mockery of the Royal Family.
Laura, Alfred, NY, USA

Why can't people just let them marry in peace?
Hamish Cameron, Salisbury, Wiltshire
I think everyone should just leave these two people alone. Why can't people just let them marry in peace like every other couple in the country?
Hamish Cameron, Salisbury, Wiltshire

This mess of legal questions makes a mockery of our entire political system. Surely the fact that there is confusion and uncertainty surrounding the royal marriage's legality only underlines the constitutional mess we're now in.
T. Forster, Chepstow, Wales

Charles has been unable to get anything right in the past, why would we think he would change now?
Robert Collis, Markham, Canada

Personally, I'd find a nice small, quiet church in Scotland, preferably where the media and interfering officials cannot locate them, and marry with only their supportive family around them!
Caroline, Devon

What is all the fuss about? Why don't the couple just elope?
Mary, Alberta, Canada

What a mess. Just let them get married and end all the speculation. They are human beings after all.

Members of the Royal Family have in modern times been advised that they could not lawfully marry in a civil service in England and Wales. In 1978 Prince Michael of Kent was told he had to marry abroad. Is the Lord Chancellor now saying that Prince Michael wrongly advised?
Michael Rhodes, Harrogate, England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific