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The Wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles

Leslie Shepherd
Royal Family Expert
Friday, April 8, 2005; 3:00 PM

Prince Charles's wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles is now scheduled for Saturday, April 9. They plan to marry in a civil ceremony in the town hall at Windsor, followed by the blessing in the chapel of Windsor Castle and a reception in the royal residence. Former Associated Press royal family reporter Leslie Shepherd was online Friday, April 8, at 3 p.m. ET to discuss the nuptials.

Shepherd provided online commentary for U.S. media for Princess Diana's funeral in 1997. She is currently editor of the Loudoun Extra edition of The Washington Post.

A transcript follows.

Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.


Leslie Shepherd: Prince Charles and his long-time lover Camilla Parker Bowles will finally (unless something else goes wrong!) tie the knot tomorrow, three decades after they met at a polo match and she reportedly said "My great-grandmother (Alice Keppel) and your great-great-grandfather (King Edward VII) were lovers, so how about it?
The wedding -- a civil service followed by a Church of England blessing -- were postponed from today by the funeral of Pope John Paul II that reportedly caused Charles to lament "Why me?"
There's a lot to talk about so let's get going.


Arlington, Va.: What is Ms. Bowles expected to wear? What about Prince Charles? Is there actual official protocol to follow for this sort of thing? Thank you.

Leslie Shepherd: Camilla's outfit is a secret. The dress was designed by Anna Valentine, the hat by Philip Treacy and her shoes by Linda Bennett. All they're saying is that the dress is "elegant," the hat "very glamourous" and the shoes "simnple and feminine."
I'd be willing to bet she ain't wearing white.
Charles is supposed to be wearing a morning suit, not a military uniform as he did for his wedding to Diana.


Mt. Lebanon, Pa.: Any Americans going to the wedding service?

Anyone we know?

The groom isn't going to wear that ridiculous red velvet cake outfit he had on the other day, is he? He looked like the doorman at the Carlyle!

Did the bride register anywhere? We don't want her getting two toasters or an unwanted Mongolian rice cooker.

Thanks much.

Leslie Shepherd: You mean that suit with the red lapels? Wasn't it hideous?
I've read that the couple have asked for no gifts. What could you give people who have everything including a future kingdom? The royals themselves apparently give one another very practical gifts look door mats. I did hear that Charles was giving Camilla a horse or two.
I think the only American on the guest list is Joan Rivers. Go figure.
Also lots of relatives, Camilla's ex-husband and his current wife (that should be fun), a handful of Charles' former girlfriends, Prime Minister Tony Blair, assorted European and other royals, etc.
Celebrities who would be known on this side of the pond include Sting, Kenneth Branagh, authors John Mortimer ("Rumpole of the Baily" and William Shawcross, Sir David Frost ....

Leslie Shepherd: that should be like doormats ....


Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: I wish they'd eloped. Thoughts?

Leslie Shepherd: Noooooooooooooo. Think of all the fun we would be missing!


Bethesda, Md.: Will the Queen be attending the wedding? What will Camilla be wearing? Are Charles's two sons happy about this union? Will any of Diana's siblings or relatives be attending.

Leslie Shepherd: Princes William and Harry issued a statement when the engagement was announced saying, "We are both very happy for our father and Camilla and we wish them all the luck."
They're both happy that their father is happy, but William seems to be a bit more accepting of Camilla than his younger brother. Both recall how bitter their mother was about the woman she blamed for destroying her marriage and referred to as the Rottweiller (That better Gene? Although I bet you worked that into your own chat several times!)
Diana's brother Earl Spencer and his wife were invited to the wedding but declined.
The queen and Prince Philip will not attend the civil ceremony but will be at the church service and are hosting and footing the bill for a champagne and nibblies reception afterward.


Columbia, S.C.: When and how will the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall leave for Balmoral after the wedding and the blessing at St. George's Chapel?

My comment is that I trust that the American press (that is, you) will naturally know that Mrs. Parker Bowles becomes HRH Duchess of Cornwall immediately after the wedding. Therefore, PLEASE, don't be fresh off the turnip truck and keep calling her Camilla Parker Bowles. She will be the Duchess of Cornwall at St. George's and ever after. Don't embarrass us more than you have to with inane and uninformed comments about British matters. If you don't know, pretend. Learn, it's YOUR JOB, not ours. Thanks ever so much from a South Carolinian.

Last week CNN said that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles attended a memorial ceremony for the Pope at Westminster ABBEY. Not so, it was Westminster CATHEDRAL. This is what I mean by saying that you have got to correct. No ifs, ands, or buts. Leslie Shepherd: Let me take the easy one first! Charles and Camilla are scheduled to leave Windsor Castle for their honeymoon in Scotland about 5:45 pm. They will fly and arrive in Aberdeen about two hours later.
On titles, that is a tough one and you are preaching to the choir. I fought a losing battle at the AP to stop referring to the Duchess of York as the former Sarah Ferguson. So I suspect she will still be called CPB for many years to come.
Partly, it's because many Americans really don't know much about British titles, whether a duke outranks a viscount and why it's actually better to be a royal duke than a prince. They just wouldn't know that the Princess Royal, for example, is really Princess Anne (the queen's daughter) by another name. Sort of like reading a Russian novel where it takes you four to six chapters to realize that Vladimir and Volodya are the same person.
But also, I have to say that the British media can be just as guilty about breaking the rules. They all -- from the broadsheets to the tabs to the broadcast media -- referred to Diana as Princess Diana, knowing full well she was not entitled to that title. She was not born a princess, so could never be Princess Diana. When she married Prince Charles she became the Princess of Wales.


Temple, Tex.: Everyone assumes that the future of the monarchy belongs to Prince William or Prince Harry. Is it not true that if Charles does not become king, Queen Elizabeth's oldest surviving son will become king, not a grandson?

Leslie Shepherd: If the queen outlives Charles (which is entirely possible, given that her mother lived to be well over 100), the next in line to the throne are Charles's two sons, the queen's grandsons, Prince William followed by his younger brother Prince Harry. THEN comes the queen's second son, Prince Andrew (aka the Duke of York) and his two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenia. I regret to tell you that I could actually go on .... I lose track someplace after Viscount Linley (the queen's nephew, son of her sister Princess Margaret)


Buffalo, S.D.: Is it true that once Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles -- her children will be in line to the throne if something was to happen to Prince Charles or his children?

Leslie Shepherd: Nope. They'll have to find their own prince or princess to marry.


Laurel, Md.: While it is well known that Camilla is descended from a mistress of King Edward VII, it's perhaps less well known that Charles, Camilla, and Diana are all descendants of King James I. In fact, Camilla and Diana are both descended from a granddaughter of King Charles II.

Leslie Shepherd: I hadn't heard that (about Charles II). The Internet Web site ancestry.com says Charles and Camilla are ninth cousins once removed, as both are descendants of Henry Cavendish, the second Duke of Newcastle.
It's long been rumored that Camilla's grandmother Sonia Keppel was Edwward VII's illegitimate daughter with Alce, but I don't think it's ever been confirmed or proven.


Linden, N.J.: Thanks for doing this chat!

It's been said that William and Harry have no problems with their father being married to Camilla and they really do like her. Others are saying this is only public relations and the truth is quite the opposite.

What is the truth about the royal princes feelings toward Ms. Parker Bowles?

Leslie Shepherd: And thank you for participating!
I think they are happy that she makes him happy. Sometimes that's enough.


Washington, D.C.: Is Windsor Castle a real castle, or has been built by Disneyland for the wedding?

Leslie Shepherd: Hah!
The castle in fact was built about 900 years ago.


East Lansing, Mich.: I would presume that so much of what you do is "read between the lines" re: the Royal Family, aka The Firm. What is the real reason the Queen will not attend?

Leslie Shepherd: You are exactly right. The queen doesn't exactly give news conferences and her press office is notoriously tight-lipped. (ditto for most of her family). So most of the information is based on winks, nudges, comments from friends and employees, examining chicken entrails. (there are exceptions of course, including Diana's cooperation with Andrew Morton, Charles' interviews with his biographer Jonathan Dimbelby, etc).
Here is the best explanation I have read of why the queen is not attending the civil service (security doesn't wash as an excuse because Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, the next four men in line to the throne, are all going to be there): She just feels it is incompatible with her role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England and that that role must come before family feelings.
I can buy that, sad as it is. If she were really going to snub the event, she wouldn't have given permission for it to take place, she would not attend the church blessing and she would tell them to rent a banquet hall and put on their own reception.
The queen did attend the second marriage of her divorced daughter Princess Anne, but that was in the Church of Scotland.


Reston, Va.: Various TV networks were reporting this morning that Charles and Camilla would confess to the "sin" of adultery during their wedding as part of some agreement with the church. What's that all about?

Leslie Shepherd: OK, let's try to make a long story short and avoid hitting any theological land mines.
Church of England frowns on divorce (yes, I know the church was founded by Henry VIII because Rome wouldn't give him a divorce, and you should refer all questions about the discrepancy directly to them). Therefore they frown on divorced people getting remarried in the church, particularly when a former spouse is still alive (in this case, Andrew Parker Bowles).
Issue is complicated by the fact that if he becomes king, Charles will be the Supreme Governor or temporal leader of the state Church of England. Bit messy if you aren't in compliance with the rules.
To get around some of the messiness, Charles and Camilla are getting married in a civil ceremony, which will then be blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury (the spiritual leader of the Church of England and of Anglicans worldwide).
With me still?
The church service includes a prayer of penitence. There are several to choose from -- in varying degrees of self-flagellation.
Charles and Camilla have chosen the "strongest" version from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Many are saying this is the most public possible declaration of regret they can make for committing adultery.
The prayer, which is recited by the entire congregation, says "We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness which we from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word and deed ... we do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings. The remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable ...."
There is speculation that this was the price the couple had to pay to have the Archbishop of Canterbury perform the blessing


Alexandria, Va.: I read somewhere that Prince Philip will be in Germany and was unwilling to change his plans. Do you know?

Leslie Shepherd: Philip is supposed to be in Germany today visiting relatives, so there was some question whether he was going to make it back in time when the wedding was scheduled for today. That excuse went out the window when the wedding was moved to Saturday, but he apparently has another engagement Saturday night that he intends to keep. Easy to do when you don't have to clean up yourself after the party.


Pittsburgh, Pa.: Leslie,

I know the Queen won't be attending, but will Prince Charles' brothers? And will there be a best man and, if so, who?

Leslie Shepherd: All three of Charles' siblings will attend, Princes Andrew and Edward and Princess Anne, the latter two with their spouses. Fergie has NOT been invited! Prince William and Camilla son Tom are to be the two official witnesses.


Fairfax, Va.: I hope the late Princess Diana's fans will leave Prince Charles and his wife-to-be alone. When most people at his age and having lots of money would be looking for women in their 20's or 30's, he is marrying someone his age and someone he loves. Also he is sticking with the same woman for decades -- let them be happy.

Leslie Shepherd: I think many people share your feelings.


Huntingburg, Ind. : Will the royal reception be drinking French champagne or English champagne? Is there such a thing as English champagne?

Leslie Shepherd: Hah! Almost certainly French champagne I would say (otherwise of course we would have to call it sparkling wine). There is indeed a small English wine industry. I wrote a story on it once and as part of the research served several different kinds to my unsuspecting friends at a Christmas party. The stuff that was good was quite pleasant, very fruity. The stuff that was bad was awful.


Fairfax, Va.: Where will they go on their honeymoon? For how long?

Leslie Shepherd: They will spend their honeymoon at Birkall, the queen mother's former home on Balmoral, the royal estate in the Scottish Highlands. They'll probably stay about 10 days or so.


Southwest: Queen's question -- Do you think the queen is as disapproving of the match as the media makes her out to be? She decided against the civil ceremony on Friday, now she apparently won't attend anything on Saturday due to out-of-town relatives visiting?? Is that right? Is it as bad as it looks?

Leslie Shepherd: The best line I have heard on this topic is that the queen likes Camilla, it's the "idea" of Camilla she doesn't like (the adultery, the divorces, etc).


Washington, D.C.: When will someone acknowledge that the Charles-Camilla relationship is one of the great love stories of the century! They have loved each other for ages but because of circumstances, family and royal commitments and public opinion, they were forced to furtively conduct their relationship.

Having been in Camilla's position all these years, many women would have made a brouhaha or literally sold their story to the tabloids to hurt both Charles and Diana. Yet Camilla waited and waited, and even now continues to withstand the negative physical comparisons to glamorous Diana. It is Camilla's turn to marry the man she loves. She has waited long enough.

Let's wish them long life and happiness and recognize that Camilla is a classy Brit!

Leslie Shepherd: Yes I think she has handled herself with amazing dignity.


Liberal, Kans.: As the late Dodi Fayed was very close to the late Princess of Wales, is there a possibility that his father Mohamed Al Fayed will be attending the wedding, and be supplying food from Harrods for the reception afterwards?

Leslie Shepherd: Heh. Not a chance. Al Fayed wwas unpopular with the British establishment long before Diana was dating his son.


Frederick, Md.: I saw an article that stated since the wedding was postponed a day, it now falls on a day of a popular British horse race and that the queen could use that as a better excuse not to go the wedding. Regardless of which event she attended, she would still see a horse!

Leslie Shepherd: It's true, the Grand National steeplechase, one of the biggest events on the British horsey calendar, is tomorrow. Organizers delayed the start time by about 25 minutes so that the BBC could finish its wedding coverage and then show the horse race (the equine one). I would not be surprised if the queen has arranged to have a radio or a little portable TV installed in the loo or the pantry so she can slip out and watch the race ....


Washington, D.C.: I've read some reports in recent days that Her Majesty will allow the wedding since she had Prince Charles sign a paper indicating that if she lives to a certain unspecified age and abdicates, the throne will go to Prince William. Is that possible?

Leslie Shepherd: I do not think the queen will ever abdicate. To her, duty comes before all else. (which is part of the reason she and her son have such a rocky relationship).


Anonymous: If Mrs. Parker-Bowles could technically become queen, why couldn't Prince Phillip become king?

Leslie Shepherd: Sexism. She's a woman, he's a man. A King's wife becomes queen. A queen's husband does not become king.


Washington, D.C.: She may officially be the Duchess of Cornwall, and there's any guess as to what the press will call her, but what, officially, will her name be? Will she keep the "Parker Bowles"? Does she take on the name Stewart? Or does she lose the last name altogether and just become "Camilla"?

Leslie Shepherd: It will be interesting to see how she becomes known popularly. As you say, officially, she will be the Duchess of Cornwall. Maybe people and the media will go down the Fergie route, the former Camilla Parker Bowles?


Alexandria, Va.: Will there be any TV coverage of the wedding/blessing/reception/running off to Balmoral?

Leslie Shepherd: The civil ceremony will not be televised, but the blessing in St. George's Chapel will be. TV cameras will also be able to record the couple and their guests entering and leaving the two services and going to and from the castle. I'll see if we can dig up the exact details on which networks are covering it and when.


Vancouver, B.C.: I'm curious about the latest public opinion polls on the monarchy in light of Charles and Camilla. It's hard for me to believe that any thoughtful Brit would buy one of those ghastly Charles and Camilla tea towels, much less accept 20 or 30 years of King Charles and Queen Camilla. Leslie Shepherd: Come on, wouldn't you LOVE to wipe your counter with a Charles and Camilla tea towel?? (so glad to see someone participating from Vancouver -- I was born in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster, aka the Royal City, named by Queen Victoria.


Wahoo, Neb.: If we Americans are so intrigued by the Royal family and its history and castles does it not make sense to extend their monarchial powers as head of state to the USA, especially as their Kings and Queens were the Head of State before Independence. Perhaps the White House could become the White Palace, and the Executive be moved into spare office space at the Capitol? How feasible is this this?

Leslie Shepherd: Works for me!


washingtonpost.com: In Royal Wedding Coverage, Everything but the Vows (Post, April 8)


New York, N.Y.: I find it incredible that Prince Philip apparently dislikes his oldest son so much that he gives the lame excuse of visiting relatives to skip the wedding. Doesn't he realize that -- hello, Charles is the future king! Why is he so rude to Charles (I'm not really a Charles fan myself but still, it's his son)? When Charles assumes the throne, Philip had better prepare to be relegated to some dusty corner of the kingdom. His bullheadedness is ridiculous from someone with his shabby pedigree.

Anyway. I was always on Diana's side during that mess, but I wish the new couple the best.

Leslie Shepherd: Families can be dysfunctional units, some more so than others. (Although Philip has a pretty good pedigree. He was born a Greek prince)


Fairfax, Va.: What will be the status of the Parker-Bowles' children, once mama marries Prince Charles? One day, they will be the stepchildren of a King. Their lives could become complicated indeed.

Leslie Shepherd: Their status won't change other than, as you say, to become stepchildren of the heir to the throne. But everything they do/say/eat/wear will be fodder for the notorious British tabs.


Burgertown, Pa.: From the recent issue of "flakmagazine" (Best Wishes to the Happy Couple (flakmagazine))

According to a YouGov/Daily Telegraph poll, 42 percent of the public would like to see the crown skip a generation and pass directly from Elizabeth to William, while only 31 percent would like to see Charles succeed. Monarchists are romantics; they want perfect, gleaming, delicate porcelain objects, not used, chipped, cracked old bowls. They want their kings, queens, princes and princesses to be youthful and handsome (viz., William), ideally instilled with tragedy (viz., Diana), who marry in lavish, fairytale ceremonies. They don't want the future king, 57 and not getting any younger, to be marrying for the second time in a public registrar's office, after being made to apologize formally to his fiancée's ex-husband for committing adultery in the eyes of the Lord."

Care to comment?

Cheers! Leslie Shepherd: Yes, you hear this a lot in Britain, that the throne should pass from the queen to Prince William. I read recently where he is going to start accompanying her to official events both as a way of furthering his royal education and to bring some youth and pizzazz to those events.


Warrenton, Va.: I haven't heard much about her children. Will they be attending? Or in the wedding party?

Leslie Shepherd: Both of Camilla children, Tom and Laura, will be attending the wedding. Tom will be one of the two witnesses.


Washington, D.C.: Diana's brother and his family were invited? Doesn't that seem to be in verrrry bad taste?

Leslie Shepherd: Heck, the bride's former husband and his current wife will be there, as will four of Charles' former girlfriends. How many more rings could there be in this circus tent?


Washington, D.C.: To clarify: Henry VIII wanted an annulment, not a divorce, from Catherine of Aragon, because she had been married to his older brother (who had died), and marrying your brother's wife is forbidden by the Bible. The Pope denied the annulment for political reasons, and Henry VIII reacted by renouncing Rome's authority over the Church of England. The analogy would be if Prince Charles wanted to marry Fergie. Can you imagine?!

Leslie Shepherd: Yes, Henry VIII was looking for a male heir after his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had borne him only a daughter. He wanted his marriage annulled in order to remarry.


Beaver City, Neb.: As Prince Charles is very interested in other faiths, is there a chance that the church service afterwards presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury will include Islam, Hinduism, or Mormonism, while not forgetting verses from the Anglican faith?

Leslie Shepherd: No, I've seen the order of service and it follows the Book of Common Prayer with a reading from the Book of Revelation and a recitation of Ode: Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth.


YouGov/Daily Telegraph poll: Given Charles' low approval rating, would he ever step back and allow his son to take the crown directly from Elizabeth? Seems he's been through the wringer enough already. William seems to know how to keep his nose clean and will have a much easier time of it. Comments?

Leslie Shepherd: I don't think so. I am more certain that Elizabeth would never abdicate, but at this point I couldn't see Charles doing so either -- especially now that he is being allowed to marry the woman he loves, which is what led to the abdication of his great-uncle Edward VIII. He chose to abdicate rather than give up the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.


Baltimore, Md.: Will Sarah Ferguson, good friend of Diana attend the wedding?

Leslie Shepherd: Nope, didn't get an invite.


Washington, D.C.: This Web site should be helpful to those who do not know the ranking of peerage:


Leslie Shepherd: Excellent, many thanks. Now we just need everyone to cut it out and keep it in their wallets ....


Bowie, Md.: The English are known for their crappy/bland food. Do you have any idea what they plan on serving at the reception?

Leslie Shepherd: British food has improved dramatically from the time I first lived in London in the late 80s, I can assure you. Then, their idea of haute cuisine was to take a hunk of meat and some veggies, boil the living daylights out of them, roll the whole thing in bread crumbs, deep fry it and serve it with what they call prawn mayonnaise (basically 100 island dressing). Now they many excellent chefs and restaurants, a new emphasis on fresh and local produce and excellent ethnic especially Indian food. Some of my favourite restaurants in the world are in London.
All we've been told is that the queen is serving champagne and finger food. Charles is reported to have wanted a much more lavish sit-down event, with the organic food he promotes and produces on his own land.
Gee, I'm all worked up now for the crispy aromatic duck at Hsings in Maida Vale ....


Panama City, Fla.: Is it true that after Diana Princess of Wales was divorced, she considered coming to live in the U.S? Secondly, I have read that there was a rumour that Congress was considering giving her an official title Diana Princess of America if she came to live here. Is this also true, and how would this have gone down with the American public?

Leslie Shepherd: Diana loved the United States and there were persistent rumours that she would have liked to have moved her. The queen would never have allowed her to take her two sons out of England on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.


Centreville, Va.: I'm asking this as a serious question and not a slight so please bear with me. What is the fascination with this royal family, that the media feels a strong need to cover it as heavily as they do? I can't comprehend what interest an American, in particular, would have with a royal family of a different country when we clearly have bigger issues to contend with on our own soil.

Curious in Centreville

Leslie Shepherd: It's a good question actually. I think many people are interested in the lives of the rich and famous since they are so different from our lives. And the Windsor family in recent years, I mean, this is just an ongoing soap opera.
(I hear now that the weather forecast is for cold and sleet in Windsor tomorrow)


Anonymous: This marriage seems so strange to me. Prince Charles was involved with Camilla Bowles even before he married Princess Diane. To me this man has been dishonest. I wish the British people would smarten up and get read of the pompous monarchy, which has no meaning function other than touristic attraction. I hope that he never gets to be King of England.

Leslie Shepherd: I take it you won't be getting up early tomorrow to watch the event on TV?


Washington, D.C.: Thanks for this chat -- you have such a good sense of humor in your responses! Two quick questions -- will CPB wear two outfits (one for civil, one for blessing/party) or one? And will Charles wear a wedding ring? Thanks!

Leslie Shepherd: I believe there is just one outfit planned for the two services and the party, although like many brides she probably has a separate going-away outfit. They apparently will both have wedding bands made from Welsh gold.


Diana U.S. title? No!: The Constitution specifically forbids the U.S. govt from giving out titles of nobility. So, no ...

Leslie Shepherd: yes, sorry, I didn't address that part of the earlier question.


Fairfax, Va.: Isn't it true that one of the reasons why Charles didn't marry Camilla all those years ago is her being a Catholic?

Leslie Shepherd: Her husband was Catholic, not her.


Roman, CE: Why ever didn't Charles and Camilla plight their troth when they first met? Clearly, they were attracted to one another. It would have saved them (and countless others) much grief.

Leslie Shepherd: Many reasons. They were quite young at the time, in their early 20s.
Charles dithered and dithered and then went to sea for eight months with the Royal Navy without proposing. While he was gone, Camilla got ack together again with her off-and-on boyfriend Andrew Parker Bowles, who DID propose.
Also, there was the small issue at the time (remember, this was the 1970s) that the Princess of Wales needed to be a virgin.


Washington, D.C.: Is Prince Rainier's funeral tomorrow and would Prince Charles go to it?

Leslie Shepherd: HAH! When I woke up the other day and heard that Prince Rainier had died, the first thing I said to my husband was, "They'll have his funeral Saturday so that everyone who is in Rome can just pop over to Monaco for a second funeral and Charles and Camilla will have to postpone again." As it turns out, Rainier's funeral is next week and Prince Andrew will attend as the representative of the British royal family.


Alexandria, Va.: Dear me, the link on precedence states that it refers to what applied in 1818. One thing I find sad/interesting is that the Duchess of Cornwall will have the second female precedence, after the Queen. Third is the Countess of Wessex. I find it very sad that the Princess Royal gets bumped down to 4th.

Leslie Shepherd: Yes, more sexism in royaldom.


Monarch Fever, USA: We see so many pictures of Camilla. But I don't have a clue about her personality. What is the take on her personal characteristics? Or don't the royals have personalities?

Leslie Shepherd: She is a very traditional English countrywoman who likes horses, gardening and other outdoorsy things. I think you will see more and more of her personality emerge as she takes a larger public role.


Washington, D.C.: How do folks in the fastest growing county in America feel about Charles tying the knot again? And did the wedding packages that ran in the Loudoun Extra offer any tips to Chuck and CC?

Leslie Shepherd: Believe me, I will find out which of my friends or colleagues posted this one. No coverage of the royal wedding in this week's Extra, but be sure to look for it every Thursday tucked inside the Home section and Sundays with the other supplements.


Sterling, Va.: I get the impression that Charles was born in the wrong century! He doesn't seem to realize that royal behavior that would have been ignored, accepted or even expected in bygone eras are simply not tolerated today. His infidelity, former romances, even prickly public appearances don't wash in a modern society with higher expectations of personal deportment.

Any thoughts?

Leslie Shepherd: Another person who plans to sleep late tomorrow.


Alexandria, Va.: Re: Greatest Love Story -- I think I could swallow that a whole lot better if Camilla did not step all over Charles and Diana's relationship. It is like they never had a chance. Not saying Diana was a saint, but could you imagine that married at young age you had this married ex-girlfriend continuously after your husband and he refused to let it go? Sheesh. My question, how long do you think it would be before Charles moves Camilla from Consort status to Queen status? He fooled us once with the "I'm never going to re-marry". Is the Princess Consort title a polite way of saying I'll wait till the queen dies and then move Camilla in? Thanks.

Leslie Shepherd: I would not be the least surprised if by the time Charles becomes king, the public has got used to the idea of Queen Camilla.


20036: So one of the reasons why Charles and Camilla didn't marry in the 1970s was that he had to marry a virgin? Gee, I guess Camilla marrying and having kids of her own really solved that problem ...

Leslie Shepherd: Times have changed. Virgins are more difficult to find.


Leslie Shepherd: This has been a lot of funny. Sorry I wasn't able to get to every question. Prince William reportedly has a serious girlfriend so maybe we can do this again soon!


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