On 9 April 2005, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales married his long-time girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles.
Their engagement had been announced on 10 February with the wedding date originally set at 8 April 2005 at Windsor. On 2 March 2005, the Privy council met to give effect to the Queen’s consent to the marriage in accordance with the Royal Marriages Act 1772.
As both Charles and Camilla were divorced, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a statement that said, “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.”1 The remarriage of a divorced person with a former spouse still living has been possible in the Church of England since 2002 – at the discretion of the member of the clergy conducting the ceremony.
The venue was changed to Windsor Guildhall as a wedding at Windsor Castle would require opening it up for other couples to marry. On 4 April, it was announced that the wedding would be postponed for a day so that Prince Charles could attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the postponement also allowed for invited dignitaries to attend both events.
On Saturday 9 April, the day had finally come. The civil ceremony2 was attended by senior members of the family, excluding the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince William, son of Prince Charles, and Tom Parker Bowles, son of Camilla, were the couple’s witnesses. Their wedding rings were made from Welsh gold. The following religious blessing – the Service of Prayer and Dedication – was televised live and was attended by the Queen and Prince Philip. It took place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Over 800 guests attended. During this ceremony, the bride and groom joined the congregation in reading an act of penitence. After the ceremony, a reception was held in the State Apartments.
Upon marriage, Camilla took up the feminine style of her husband’s titles, including that of Princess of Wales. However, she chooses to be known by the title of The Duchess of Cornwall.