The ever growing farce of the upcoming wedding of Prince Charles to his long-time ‘companion’ continues to occupy large amounts of time and space in the news media. There are essentially two threads to the debate, the first relating to the civil ceremony, and the various problems our legislation causes, and the second being whether it is legal for a Royal to marry in an English civil wedding in the first place.
Looking at the legality of the whole process, the interesting discussion today was caused by the fact that it transpires that a previous government gave the opposite advice to the Queen over allowing Princess Margaret to marry in the mid-1950’s. The key point being related to a clause in the 1836 marriage act banning royals from marrying in a civil ceremony that was not explicity addressed by the 1949 act.
Assuming that the wedding is legal, there is an increasingly farcical series of problems with the location. Initially the location was to have been at Windsor Castle, but this was changed because by applying for a license to hold the wedding, the castle would automatically be open to anybody to have their wedding in the castle. However this now lands residents of Windsor with the bill for security. Today, the ongoing farce continued, with the news that under the law, the general public are allowed to attend a civil wedding. It is worth bearing in mind that Princess Anne dodged problems with English law by marrying outside England when she re-married, choosing instead to marry in Scotland. Having said that, with the ongoing problems, maybe they could combine Charles proposed visit to the US with a trip to Las Vegas to tie the knot, although even that is looking like it might have problems too.