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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 February, 2005, 14:27 GMT
Charles congratulated on wedding
Charles and Camilla
The prince and Mrs Parker Bowles first met at a polo match in 1970
Dignitaries in Devon and Cornwall have been offering their congratulations to Prince Charles, the Duke of Cornwall, at the news he is to marry.

The prince, one of the biggest landowners in both counties, will marry Camilla Parker Bowles on 8 April.

Mrs Parker Bowles will take the title HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Michael Goldsworthy, said the announcement was "utterly good in every conceivable way".

Mr Goldsworthy, a close personal friend of Prince Charles, said he was delighted and wished the couple well.

It's good that he'll have someone he can work with and be supported by
Matthew Taylor MP

He said: "It's a day full of happiness for me personally, and I think it represents closure from past history."

The MP for Truro and St Austell, Liberal Democrat Matthew Taylor, also welcomed the announcement.

He said: "I think what Charles finds in Camilla is somebody who he feels comfortable with, and they can work together.

"He has a lot of duties, and will have a lot more duties to come in the future, and it's good that he'll have someone he can work with and be supported by.

"That is something we all understand and we're all pleased for them."

'Life of comfort'

North Cornwall MP Paul Tyler said in the House of Commons: "I'm sure the people of Cornwall will be especially delighted at the news, and I, on their behalf and on behalf of my colleagues here, wish Prince Charles and his future wife every happiness in their marriage."

The Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Michael Langrish, said he was pleased by the news.

He said: "I'm delighted that the prince and Mrs Parker Bowles are entering into a relationship of marriage, and we pray that they will offer each other a life of comfort and health.

"I'm sure that will be so in this particular case."

Cornwall County Council said it was an honour for the county to have a new duchess.

The Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Bill Ind, gave his congratulations to the couple, but also acknowledged that there were sensitivities involved - given Charles' likely future role as head of the Church of England.

Uneasy situation

He said: "The Archbishop of Canterbury is very happy about it and I think we all are really.

"I think the situation has not been easy, and no-one can pretend otherwise, but I think it's alright."

As Duke of Cornwall, Prince Charles is one of the biggest landowners in the South West.

As part of its estates, the duchy owns 18,000 acres in Cornwall, 70,000 in Devon, 15,000 in Somerset, 3,000 in Dorset and almost all of the Isles of Scilly.

According to the official Prince of Wales website, the Duchy was created in 1337 by Edward the Third for his son and ever since its main purpose has been to provide an independent income for the heir to the throne.

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