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The BBC's Jennie Bond
"Slowly she is becoming used to the limelight"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Camilla and Charles step out
Charles and Camilla
The couple arrived at the venue together
Prince Charles's "companion" Camilla Parker Bowles has appeared at his side at a semi-official engagement.

The couple are hosting a gala dinner in London in honour of the Prince's Foundation - one of his charities.

They arrived at the headquarters of foundation in a newly-restored warehouse in Shoreditch, east London, in the same car.

In front of around 100 photographers they walked the short distance down a red carpet into the building.

Mrs Parker Bowles, wearing a pale pink embroidered full-length Versace evening gown, smiled broadly.

They did not pose for photographers, despite their shouted pleas.


Camilla smiled for the cameras
Camilla smiled for the cameras
The move comes after Mrs Parker Bowles met the Queen for the first time in years at a lunch for the ex-Greek King Constantine just two weeks ago.

Their first public appearance was 18 months ago at the Ritz Hotel in London at the 50th birthday party of Camilla's sister, Annabel Elliott.

Guests at the dinner included dress designer Donatella Versace, model Elle Macpherson, racing driver David Coulthard and his fiancee Heidi Wichlinski, actress Lauren Bacall, Sir Richard Branson and Lady Branson and US comedienne Joan Rivers.

Shortly after 2300 BST the Prince and Mrs Parker Bowles left the event, walking out together just after King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

They got into their green Bentley again without pausing or posing for photographers.

Relaxed

They had been entertained after dinner by Australian singer Tina Arena, who is currently starring in the West End Notre Dame de Paris.

Guests at the dinner said Mrs Parker Bowles had looked relaxed throughout the evening.

The BBC's royal correspondent Jennie Bond says there is no doubt the appearance is another move in the campaign to gain public acceptance for Mrs Parker Bowles.

The Prince's Foundation in the UK was set up a year ago as an umbrella group for all the architectural and environmental causes he sponsors.

Its aim is to improve the quality of life in towns and cities through urban design and regeneration.

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