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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Same day, different wedding
The twists and turns in the planning of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles' wedding have barely been out of the headlines since February.

A new date was set following a clash with the Pope's funeral, but they're not the only pair tying the knot on Saturday.

The BBC News website's Paula Dear talked to an "ordinary" couple marrying on the same day as the heir to the throne and his fiancée, to see how the weddings compared.


Charles and Camilla
Jenny and Neil
Jenny and Neil

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, 56, heir to the throne and Camilla Parker Bowles, 57, live in Gloucestershire. They announced their engagement on 10 February. It's the second marriage for both. Jenny Fry, 31, office manager and Neil Neaverson, 42, systems programmer, live in Lancashire. Neil popped the question, with ring in hand, on Christmas Day 2004. It's the second marriage for both.


Charles and Camilla
Guildhall, Windsor
Jenny and Neil
Rochdale Town Hall, pic courtesy of Rochdale Council

A private civil ceremony will be conducted at Windsor Guildhall, followed by a 45-minute service of prayer and dedication at Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel, by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Queen will throw a reception at Windsor Castle. Another civil ceremony, this time in the register office at the Grade I-listed Rochdale Town Hall. The guests will head to a local restaurant for a three-course meal, then will join more friends for an evening party at Jenny and Neil's house.


Charles and Camilla

A finger buffet will be laid on in the state apartments at Windsor Castle, prepared by Buckingham Palace kitchen staff. Despite speculation that Prince Charles had wanted something more lavish, aides have been quoted as saying it was always planned as an afternoon event, which would not suit a sit-down dinner.

Jenny and Neil

The wedding party will dine on cheese soufflé, beef or sea bass, and desserts, at a traditional restaurant near the couple's house. For the evening they are laying on a full bar at their home, and Jenny has baked 150 fairy cakes as a wedding cake. "I iced them all and put love heart sweets on," she says.


Design team: Anna Valentine, Philip Treacy and Linda Bennett
Jenny's wedding dress

British designers Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine have created the wedding outfit, milliner Philip Treacy is designed the headwear and Linda Bennett (founder of the LK Bennett chain), the shoes. The team would only reveal Camilla's outfit was "elegant", her hat "very glamorous" and her shoes "simple and feminine". The bride has chosen a 1950s-style ivory dress from a wedding shop in Rochdale. It has a full skirt to just below the knee, a fitted waist, a strapless bodice with a design on the fabric. Jenny has decided not to wear a veil. Her shoes - pink satin with diamante buckles - were bought during a holiday in Las Vegas.


Charles and Camilla

Both have chosen their sons as witnesses to their civil wedding. Prince William, 22, who is next in line to the throne after his father, and Charles' godson Tom Parker Bowles, 30, shared duties.

Jenny and Neil

Both have chosen their childhood friends, Helen Lawton for Jenny and Mark Zwetsloot for Neil. Helen was the bridesmaid at Jenny's first wedding, and Mark the best man at Neil's first marriage.


Charles and Camilla
Camilla Parker Bowles
Jenny and Neil
Jenny's engagement ring

Camilla's engagement ring is a Royal Family heirloom made of platinum with a square central diamond and three diamond baguettes on either side. Their wedding bands are to be made from Welsh gold, as is the tradition. A simple solitaire on a gold band was Neil's choice for Jenny, bought from Manchester jewellers Boodle and Dunthorne. "It's where the footballers and their wives go!" she says. She bought Neil's ring in Las Vegas.


Charles and Camilla

Clarence House says Mrs Parker Bowles wants the title of Princess Consort, not Queen, when Prince Charles becomes King.

Jenny and Neil

No such worries or public debate for Jenny. She wants to become Mrs Neaverson, and Mrs Neaverson she will become.


Charles and Camilla

The couple have invited around 750 guests to the blessing, including senior members of the Royal Family, Prime Minister Tony Blair, celebrities and dignitaries.

Jenny and Neil

Twenty-nine people will attend the ceremony and meal, while a total of 80 to 100 friends and family members will be at the house party afterwards.


Charles and Camilla
Ekaterina Semenchuk. Photo by Brian Tarr
Jenny and Neil
Barry White

Russian contralto Ekaterina Semenchuk will be flown over specially from St Petersburg to sing a Russian Creed at the church blessing. Members of the Philharmonia Orchestra will also be performing in the chapel. Jenny will walk down the aisle to crooner Barry White's Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe and the pair will exit to You're The First, The Last, My Everything. A DJ will play in the couple's living room for the evening party.


Charles and Camilla

The church blessing will be televised live across the world, with 40 BBC cameras at the event. A peak of 11m viewers tuned in to watch Prince Edward marry Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999.

Jenny and Neil

The couple have decided to ditch the idea of having an official photographer, and will "beg, borrow and steal" the snaps from guests. "We didn't want anything too formal," says Neil.


Charles and Camilla
Balmoral Castle, the Royal Family's Scottish home
Jenny and Neil
Amsterdam scene

They will leave for Birkhall, a hunting lodge on the Queen's Balmoral estate in Scotland, immediately after the reception. The Lancashire pair are making use of their passports, with a few days seeing the sights and delights of Amsterdam.


Charles and Camilla

The Queen decided to stay away from the civil marriage of her son and wife-to-be, but the prince's aides insisted it was not a snub, saying the ceremony was "always meant to be low key".

Jenny and Neil

Not even a ripple. "Both sets of families will be there on the day," says Jenny. Neil adds some family members cried with joy when they heard the news over the phone on Christmas Day.


Charles and Camilla

The list of hitches is long. It includes a change of venue, then legal experts saying members of the public would have the right to attend the marriage. After that the Queen announced that she wouldn't be there. To add to the mess was the debate about whether a civil marriage was valid in law. The clash with the Pope's funeral was the least avoidable problem, meaning the wedding had to be moved back by a day.

Jenny and Neil

No problems for the Rochdale couple. They kept it simple, and local and knew what they wanted - and they managed to set it all up in just over four months, with a minimum of fuss. "We've done it all together," says Neil. "We just wanted a celebration, a party, nothing formal, and that's what we've gone with. It has all gone remarkably smoothly." The only minor hassle is having to move their furniture to make room for the dancing.


Charles and Camilla
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in the 1970s
Jenny and Neil
Trafford Centre, Salford, Manchester

They first met in 1970 and dated, but after the prince decided to concentrate on a naval career Camilla married. They remained firm friends. Princess Diana later blamed the collapse of her marriage to Prince Charles on his relationship with Mrs Parker Bowles. In 1994 the prince admitted he had committed adultery. In 1995 Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles divorced, and from 1999 she was slowly introduced as Charles' partner to a reluctant public. They had each previously been married but were both single when a friend of Jenny's set them up on a blind date. "We were both mad enough to go for it," says Jenny. They have been together for three years, and bought a house together 18 months ago. The date happened at "Jenny's favourite place" - the Trafford Centre, near Salford, Manchester (pictured), says Neil, adding that his wife-to-be is a "shopaholic". They had coffee, then dinner, and found they had lots in common.

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