Prince Charles and Camilla celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary today. A YouGov poll this week showed that nearly half of the British public thinks Camilia should become Queen when Charles succeeds to the throne, compared to just seven per cent a decade ago, according to Daily Mail.
Ten years ago, a divorcée of 57 and a prince of the realm just one year younger were married at Windsor Guildhall and stepped out into history.
It was the first time a member of the Royal Family, let alone the heir to the throne, had had a civil wedding. The Lord Chancellor had to make a statement in Parliament to confirm that this union was legal.
As for the bride’s divorced status, it was only 70 years since another heir to the throne, the bridegroom’s great-uncle Edward, was stepping out with another divorcée, Wallis Simpson.
This was so scandalous that the Press had been persuaded to keep the lid on the affair — although every newspaper editor knew all about it — until the Bishop of Bradford referred to the Prince’s ‘need for grace’ in a sermon, and the dam of discretion broke.
Edward’s refusal to give up his mistress plunged the country into the 1936 Abdication Crisis, and cost him the Crown.
Times have changed, and Prince Charles was luckier. The Archbishop of Canterbury himself blessed his union with Camilla, despite objections from some clerics to the future head of the Church of England having a civil marriage only.