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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Public will 'like kind Camilla'
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
People will come to respect the couple, said Paddy Harverson
Camilla Parker Bowles is a kind, down-to-earth woman who people will warm to once they get to know her, says the prince's communications secretary.

Paddy Harverson told the BBC: "People will really get to respect and enjoy and like the couple." But there would not be a publicity campaign, he added.

He also said the Queen was "delighted" for her son and Mrs Parker Bowles, and "we would see that delight today".

And there was more support for the marriage than people realised, he said.

'Twists and turns'

"We have had 15,000 letters over the last eight weeks and less than 1% have been negative and against the marriage," he said.

He disputed that lots of things had gone wrong in the run-up to the wedding in the way suggested in the press.

The polls suggest consistent support for the idea of the marriage
Paddy Harverson

"We have had some twists and turns along the way, but the most important thing for us is the fundamentals have been right from the very beginning and are again today," he said.

"The Queen has supported the marriage right from the beginning, which was very important of course to approve it officially.

"The Church is right behind it, the Archbishop of Canterbury will be here today presiding. The government has given its full support for it and, I think most important of all, the people.

"The polls suggest consistent support for the idea of the marriage. And while there has been negative coverage in the press over the twists and turns of the planning, the most important thing is the idea.

"Everyone supports that, or a large number of people do. We are concentrating on that."

It has been an unhappy situation, but one that we are moving on from
Paddy Harverson

He said the Queen was very much in support of the marriage saying her non-attendance at the civil service was not a snub.

For her and the rest of the Royal Family, he said, the centrepiece of the day was the service of prayer and dedication in St George's Chapel, while she was also showing her support by giving the reception.

'Unhappy situation'

Responding to questions over the prince's handshake with Zimbabwe's controversial leader President Mugabe at the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Mr Harverson said: "Well he was actually very angry, to be honest.

"He was not expecting to be put near President Mugabe and when he was, he was disappointed and then Mr Mugabe made every point of going across and grabbing his hand during the 'may peace be with you' section, so he had very little choice.

"But he has made clear in the past his distaste of the abhorrent regime that Mugabe runs, he has met with opposition leaders and he donates to victims of the oppressive regime.

"It has been an unhappy situation, but one that we are moving on from."


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