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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 15:55 GMT
Camilla absent from state events
Italian President Carlo Ciampi and the Queen
The Queen hosted the Buckingham Palace banquet for Carlo Ciampi
The Prince of Wales will attend a second state-visit occasion without his fiancée Camilla Parker Bowles, her spokeswoman has confirmed.

Charles will attend a banquet, hosted in London by the Italian president, Carlo Ciampi, without his bride-to-be.

The event comes a day after his solo appearance at a Buckingham Palace dinner in honour of Mr Ciampi.

His fiancee's absence will boost speculation her presence at official events has not yet been fully accepted.

She was busy with other engagements as well as plans for her 8 April wedding, her spokeswoman said.

Tuesday night's banquet was an opportunity for Mrs Parker Bowles to be seen publicly with the Queen and Royal Family members for the first time since her engagement in February.

Contrast with Diana

A Royal spokeswoman said the presence of Mrs Parker Bowles was considered but that she was unable to attend.

In contrast, Lady Diana Spencer was Prince Charles' guest at a Palace state banquet the month before their wedding in July 1981.

Prince Charles' wedding to Mrs Parker Bowles has proved controversial so far, with much media coverage of legal objections to the marriage, as well as the Queen's decision not to attend the Windsor Guildhall civil ceremony.

It now seems likely that the Queen will not be seen in public with her future daughter-in-law before the wedding.




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