World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles


Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles

Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles
Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles on their wedding day.
Date 9 April 2005, 12.30 pm BST (11:30 UTC)
Location Windsor Guildhall
Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles

The wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, did not attend the civil wedding ceremony but were present at the service of blessing and held a reception for the couple in Windsor Castle afterwards.

The marriage formalised the controversial relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, who became HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. The proceedings of the Service of Prayer and Dedication were covered by the BBC network. Notable figures in attendance included international political, religious, and royal figures, and various celebrities. The wedding was described by the media as a "A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups."[1][2][3][4]


  • Engagement and preparations 1
    • A civil ceremony 1.1
    • Questioning a royal civil wedding 1.2
    • Change of the wedding location and date 1.3
  • Wedding and blessing 2
  • Public and commercial interest 3
  • Wedding guest list 4
    • Family of the Prince of Wales 4.1
    • Family of Camilla Parker Bowles 4.2
  • Blessing guest list 5
    • Viceroys 5.1
    • Foreign royalty 5.2
    • UK Politicians 5.3
    • Religious representatives 5.4
    • Other notable guests 5.5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Engagement and preparations

On 10 February 2005, it was announced that [5] After the engagement announcement, the couple were congratulated by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.[6] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams issued a statement which read: "These arrangements have my strong support and are consistent with Church of England guidelines concerning remarriage which the Prince of Wales fully accepts as a committed Anglican and as prospective Supreme Governor of the Church of England."[7] Prime Minister Tony Blair, Leader of the Opposition Michael Howard, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy, Leader of the House of Commons Peter Hain and the Prime Ministers of the other Commonwealth realms added their congratulations.[8]

The Duchess' engagement ring is a Windsor family heirloom that belonged to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. With a 1920s platinum setting, it is composed of a square-cut central diamond flanked by six diamond baguettes.[9]

A civil ceremony

A civil ceremony was presumably chosen to avoid potential controversy caused by the future supreme governor of the Church of England marrying a divorcée in a religious ceremony, Camilla Parker Bowles having divorced her first husband in 1995. In fact, the marriage of a divorced person whose spouse is still living has been possible in the Church of England, at the discretion of the member of clergy conducting the ceremony, since 2002. [10]

When Princess Anne married Timothy Laurence after having divorced Mark Phillips, she chose to do so in the Church of Scotland. Remarriage of divorcees is less controversial in the Church of Scotland, and the sovereign has no constitutional role in the governance of the Church. The Prince of Wales and his bride did not elect this course of action.

Questioning a royal civil wedding

The Prince was the first member of the royal family to marry in a civil ceremony in England. Dr. Stephen Chetney, a Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford questioned whether Charles and Camilla could marry in a civil ceremony, as the Royal Family was specifically excluded from the law which instituted civil marriages in England (Marriage Act 1836). On 14 February the BBC's Panorama uncovered documents of official legislative research advice dating from 1956 and 1964, which stated that it was not lawful for members of the royal family to marry in a civil ceremony in England and Wales, though it would be lawful in Scotland.[11] These documents' statements were dismissed by Clarence House on the advice of four unnamed legal experts.[12] These experts' views that the 1836 Act had been repealed by the Marriage Act 1949 were upheld by the British Government. Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor, made the following statement in the House of Lords:

The Government are satisfied that it is lawful for the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker-Bowles, like anyone else, to marry by a civil ceremony in accordance with Part III of the Marriage Act 1949. Civil marriages were introduced in England, by the Marriage Act 1836. Section 45 said that the Act "... shall not extend to the marriage of any of the Royal Family". But the provisions on civil marriage in the 1836 Act were repealed by the Marriage Act 1949. All remaining parts of the 1836 Act, including Section 45, were repealed by the Registration Service Act 1953. No part of the 1836 Act therefore remains on the statute book. ... We are aware that different views have been taken in the past; but we consider that these were overcautious, and we are clear that the interpretation I have set out in this Statement is correct. We also note that the Human Rights Act has since 2000 required legislation to be interpreted wherever possible in a way that is compatible with the right to marry (Article 12) and with the right to enjoy that right without discrimination (Article 14). This, in our view, puts the modern meaning of the 1949 Act beyond doubt.[13]

Eleven objections were received by the Cirencester and Chippenham register offices but were all rejected by the Registrar General (and National Statistician) Len Cook, who determined that a civil marriage would in fact be valid,[14] the Human Rights Act 1998 apparently superseding any previously enacted legislation barring members of the royal family from civil marriages. There were calls for a short piece of legislation to remove all doubt, but no legislation was in fact introduced. In fact the matter was never seriously in issue, however, as it is a truism of English law that a statute is pro tanto repealed by a subsequent statute to the extent of any inconsistency, whether or not the prior inconsistent statute is expressly repealed for that or any purpose. (To what extent such an inconsistency exists however was itself a point of contention.)

Change of the wedding location and date

On 17 February, Clarence House announced the marriage's change of venue from Windsor Castle to the Windsor Guildhall, immediately outside the walls of the castle.[15] This substitution came about when it was discovered that the legal requirements for licensing the royal castle for civil weddings would require opening it up to other prospective couples for at least three years. On 22 February, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen would not attend the wedding ceremony, but would attend the church blessing and host the reception afterwards.[16] The reason stated by the palace was the couple wanted to keep the occasion low key. On 4 April, it was announced that the wedding would be postponed 24 hours until 9 April, so that the Prince of Wales could attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II as the representative of the Queen. The postponement also allowed some of the dignitaries that were invited to the funeral to attend the wedding. In keeping with tradition, the Prince of Wales spent the night apart from his bride-to-be at Highgrove House, his country mansion in Gloucestershire, with his sons Princes William and Harry.[17]

Wedding and blessing

The wedding took place at the Windsor Guildhall at 12.30 pm BST (11:30 UTC) on 9 April 2005. Crowds had gathered on the streets since dawn ahead of the service. The ceremony was attended by all the senior royals apart from the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[18]

The arrival of the Royal guests in a locally hired mini-bus was unprecedented. After the wedding, the couple's witnesses were Prince William of Wales and the bride's son, Tom Parker-Bowles.[19][20] In keeping with tradition, the couple's wedding rings are crafted from 22 carat Welsh gold from the Clogau St David's mine in Bontddu. The tradition of using Clogau Gold within the wedding rings of The Royal Family dates back to 1923.[9] The design of the wedding rings is by Wartski, a London jeweller that has held the Royal Warrant to The Prince of Wales since 1979. The Prince wears his on the small finger of his left hand. For the wedding, the Duchess wore a cream-coloured dress and coat with a wide-brimmed cream-coloured hat. For the blessing afterward, she wore a floor-length embroidered pale blue and gold coat over a matching chiffon gown and a dramatic spray of golden feathers in her hair.[21] Both ensembles were by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine, London designers who worked under the name Robinson Valentine, now solely called Anna Valentine; both hats were made by the Irish milliner Philip Treacy.[9]

The wedding was followed by a televised blessing at The Archbishop of Canterbury.[22] Although the Queen did not attend the wedding, the subsequent blessing was attended by all the senior royals including the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[23]

The Duchess flower bouquet consisted of daffodils, jasmine, Lily of the Valley, pink and cream lilies, camellias, hydrangeas, and roses which came from the Prince of Wales Highgrove House gardens.[24] The wedding cake was made by Mrs Blunden, owner of the "Sophisticake" cake shop in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.[25] In April 2005 a hotelier paid £215 in an internet auction for a slice of cake.[26]

Public and commercial interest

Manufacturers of pottery and other commemorative items faced a late rush to change the dates on their products after the delayed wedding date became known. However, sales of those with the incorrect date soared when people began to think that they would become collectors items. For the wedding day, the theme park Alton Towers changed the name of their rollercoaster "Rita: Queen of Speed" to "Camilla: Queen of Speed". Television commercials and signs around the park were all updated to reflect this change.[27]

The BBC One Huw Edwards and Sophie Raworth presented the live coverage of the event and fashion advisors Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine contributed as the contemporary social commentators. The BBC had around thirty cameras at the event and shared footage with broadcasters throughout the world. BBC News 24 also had coverage during the day with Jane Hill and Simon McCoy reporting live from Windsor.[28]

Wedding guest list

Family of the Prince of Wales

Family of Camilla Parker Bowles

Blessing guest list


Foreign royalty





The Netherlands:


Saudi Arabia:

UK Politicians

Religious representatives

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Williams
  • The Lord and Lady Carey of Clifton
  • The Dean of Windsor and wife
  • Canon Doctor Hueston Finlay and wife
  • Canon Laurence Gunner and wife
  • Canon John Ovenden and Christine Ovenden
  • Rev Canon John White

Other notable guests


  1. ^ "A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups". The New York Times. 6 March 2005. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Charles and Camilla's Once Upon a Time". The Washington post. 11 February 2005. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Charles and Camilla's happily-ever-after finally arrives". USA Today. 8 April 2005. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Prince Charles and Camilla Get Married". cnn. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Royal Marriage". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 17 March 2005. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Buckingham Palace press releases > Marriage of HRH The Prince of Wales". Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Charles and Camilla - Archbishop's statement". The Church of England. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Prince Charles to marry Camilla". BBC News. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, Marriage Profile
  10. ^ "Divorce". The Church of England. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Possible bar to wedding uncovered". BBC. 14 February 2005. Retrieved 26 February 2009. 
  12. ^ "Panorama: Lawful impediment?". BBC. 14 February 2005. Retrieved 26 February 2009. 
  13. ^ The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor (Lord Falconer of Thoroton) (24 February 2005). "Royal Marriage; Lords Hansard Written Statements 24 Feb 2005: Column WS87 (50224–51)". Parliament. Retrieved 12 October 2008. 
  14. ^ "Royal Marriages - Constitutional Issues" (PDF). UK Parliament. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Prince and Camilla change venue". BBC News. 17 February 2005. 
  16. ^ "Queen denies 'snub' over wedding". BBC News. 23 February 2005. 
  17. ^ Wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
  18. ^ "Queen not going to Charles wedding". CNN. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Wedding role for William and Tom". BBC News. 23 March 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  20. ^ Clarence House (23 March 2005). "William a witness at royal wedding". CNN. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "Parker Bowles, elegant yet feminine for wedding". Msnbc. 9 April 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  22. ^ Clarence House (18 March 2005). "Royal wedding blessing on live TV". CNN. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  23. ^ "Queen not going to Charles wedding". CNN. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  24. ^ Stritof, Sherri. "The Wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles".  
  25. ^ Royal Correspondent 9:00AM GMT 20 March 2011 (20 March 2011). Is this the royal wedding cake maker?" at""". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  26. ^ "Royal wedding cake sold on web" ar
  27. ^ "Theme park to rename ride Camilla" at Newsround, BBC News. Retrieved 12 April 2005.
  28. ^ "The Royal Wedding: Charles and Camilla". BBC. 30 March 2005. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 

External links

  • History of Royal Wedding Rings
  • BBC News – In Depth: Charles and Camilla
  • Communications Unit – Prime Minister's Office of Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • CNN – Royal Wedding
  • Guardian Unlimited – In Pictures: Charles and Camilla
  • Daily Telegraph article including Guest Lists
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.