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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Charles and Camilla's wedding day
Prince Charles, Camilla and the Queen

The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles have finally become husband and wife - more than 30 years after their romance first began.

More than 20,000 people cheered as they arrived at Windsor's Guildhall for their small private civil wedding.

Afterwards they returned to Windsor Castle for a service of blessing led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

About 800 of the couple's family and friends attended including the Queen and Prince Philip.

The Prime Minister, other political figures, diplomats, church leaders, showbiz personalities were among the congregation in St George's Chapel.

Prince Charles and the new Duchess of Cornwall entered arm-in-arm to make their solemn vows.

The Duchess had worn an oyster silk basket-weave coat and chiffon dress for the civil ceremony, but changed into a porcelain blue silk dress for the blessing of her marriage.

During the service the couple promised to be faithful to each other for the rest of their lives.

After the ceremony, the couple walked around and chatted to members of the public gathered outside the chapel.

Despite Becher's Brook and The Chair and all kinds of other terrible obstacles my son has come through and I'm very proud and wish them well
The Queen

They then made their way to a reception, hosted by the Queen, at the castle's State Apartments.

There the Prince and Duchess mingled with their guests who were offered egg and cress sandwiches, mini Cornish pasties and scones.

They included all the senior British royals, invited foreign royals, eight governors-general, leaders of opposition parties and a host of celebrities.

Charles's biographer Jonathan Dimbleby, broadcaster Sir David Frost, musicians Phil Collins and Jools Holland and actors Rowan Atkinson, Edward Fox, Kenneth Branagh, Joanna Lumley, Richard E Grant and Prunella Scales were all there.

Guests said the Queen made a speech at the reception, in which she told how "proud" she was of her son on his wedding day, and wished the couple well.

Scottish honeymoon

Following the reception, the newly-wed couple departed for their honeymoon at Birkhall on the edge of the Balmoral Estate in Scotland.

Princes William and Harry had decorated the Bentley which drove the couple away from the castle.

The words "Prince" and "Duchess" were sprayed on either side of the windscreen and "Just Married" written on the back windscreen. Bunches of red, white and yellow metallic balloons had been tied to the couple's car.

Welsh gold

Earlier in the day Camilla became the most senior female member of the Royal Family after the Queen - when Prince Charles slipped a wedding ring crafted from Welsh gold onto her finger.

Camilla and Charles

As the couple left the Guildhall, Prince Charles mouthed "Thank you very much" to the cheering crowds.

Among the well-wishers was Vivienne Reay, 53, from Staines, Middlesex.

She said: "It's brilliant, I think it's really nice that they're married, they've waited long enough and I'm just really pleased for them."

Security was extra tight around Windsor with marksmen on rooftops, officers mingling in the crowd and police with sniffer dogs patrolling the route.

However, the only public disturbance was a streaker who broke away from the crowd and was quickly apprehended by police.

Troubled romance

The wedding brings to a conclusion a relationship between Charles and Camilla that began when they met at a Windsor polo match in 1970, a year before the prince joined the Royal Navy.

They became great friends but there was no proposal and Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles.

Charles married the then Diana Spencer 24 years ago in 1981.

Diana, Princess of Wales, famously referred to Camilla as one of the contributing factors in the breakdown of her marriage to Charles.

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