Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles
After the engagement announcement, the couple were congratulated by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh; the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams; the Prime Minister, Tony Blair; the Leader of the Opposition, Michael Howard; the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy; the Leader of the House of Commons, Peter Hain; and the various heads of Government of Commonwealth countries.
Her Royal Highness's engagement ring, reported to be an "enormous" diamond by Sarah Lyall of The New York Times on 11 February, 2005, is a Windsor family heirloom that belonged to the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. With a 1920s platinum setting, it is composed of a square-cut central diamond flanked by six diamond baguettes. Photographs of the Duchess showing the ring to the media reveal that the main stone is not especially large.
On 14 February the BBC uncovered government documents dating from 1956 and 1964 which suggest that it may not be lawful for members of the royal family to marry in a civil ceremony in England and Wales, though it would be lawful in Scotland. Following various legal challenges, the government determined that a civil marriage would in fact be valid, 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.
On 17 February, Clarence House announced the marriage's change of venue from Windsor Castle to the Guildhall, Windsor, immediately outside the walls of the castle. 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 afterward. The reason stated by the palace was the couple wanted to keep the occasion low key. It was unofficially known that the Queen, in her capacity as Head of the Church of England, could not endorse a civil wedding by her presence.
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 wedding to attend the funeral.
In keeping with tradition, the Prince of Wales spent the night apart from his bride-to-be at Highgrove, his country mansion in Gloucestershire, with his sons Princes William and Harry. As a result of the wedding, Camilla became the most senior female member of the Royal Family after Queen Elizabeth II.
The wedding took place at the Guildhall in Windsor 12.30pm BST (12:30 UTC) 9 April 2005. Crowds had gathered on the streets since dawn ahead of the service. A civil ceremony was planned because of controversy within the Church of England regarding the remarriage of divorcÚs. This was attended by all the senior royals apart from the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
At the wedding, the couple's witnesses were Prince William of Wales and the bride's son, Tom Parker Bowles .
For the wedding, the duchess wore a cream-coloured suit and wide-brimmed cream-coloured hat. For the blessing afterward, she wore a floor-length embroidered pale blue coat over a matching chiffon gown and a dramatic spray of golden feathers in her hair. Both ensembles were by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine, London designers who work under the name Robinson Valentine ; both hats were made by the Irish milliner Philip Treacy.
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 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.
The wedding was followed by a televised blessing at St George's Chapel, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, which the Queen and her husband did attend, along with many royals from Europe and the Commonwealth. Along with the congregation attending their post-wedding blessing, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall recited an acknowledgement of past "sins and wickedness" taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. CNN called it "the strongest act of penitence" in the prayer book, suggesting that the recitation of it is unusual, but in actuality, the confession is one that is often regularly recited during Anglican and Episcopalian church services around the world. At the conclusion of the blessing, Archbishop Williams led the congregation in the recitation of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, interestingly without the Filioque clause. After the blessing, the Queen hosted an 800-guest reception in Windsor Castle.
Wedding guest list
HRH Prince William of Wales
HRH Prince Harry of Wales
HRH The Duke of York
HRH Princess Beatrice of York
HRH Princess Eugenie of York
TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex
HRH The Princess Royal
Rear Admiral Timothy Lawrence
Mr Peter Phillips
Miss Zara Phillips
HRH Princess Alexandra
Viscount Linley and Viscountess Linley
Mr Daniel Chatto and The Lady Sarah Chatto
The Parker Bowles Family
Major Bruce Shand
Mr Tom Parker Bowles
Miss Sarah Buys
Miss Laura Parker Bowles
Mr Harry Lopes
Mr Mark Shand
Mr and Mrs Simon Elliot
Mr Ben Elliot
Miss Katie Elliot
Mr and Mrs Luke Irwin
Those not present at the wedding, but who attended the blessing ceremony afterwards, included Joan Rivers, Rowan Atkinson and political dignitaries, including Don McKinnon, Secretary of General of the Commonwealth, a number of governors-general, members of foreign royal families, and British politicians.
Manufacturers of pottery and other commemorative items faced a late rush to change the dates on their products. However, sales of those with the incorrect date soared when people began to think that they would become collectors items.
For the wedding day theme park Alton Towers changed the name of "Rita: Queen of Speed" to "Camilla: Queen of Speed". Television commercials and signs around the park were all updated to reflect this change.  This, however, could be seen as a marketing strategy as the park had recently reopened and that ride has just been completed.
- 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
- Official Press Pack
- Telegraph article including Guest Lists
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