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'Charles must apologise to Camilla's ex'
Updated: 2005-03-27 09:32

Britain's Prince Charles is obliged to apologise to the ex-husband of his fiancee Camilla Parker Bowles for having an affair with her before their forthcoming wedding can go ahead, an Anglican bishop has said.

A handout photograph, released March 9, 2005 by Britain's Royal Mail, shows stamps with pictures of Britain's Prince Charles and fiancee Camilla Parker Bowles. The Royal Mail said on Wednesday it will issue two stamp designs to commemorate the forthcoming royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. The stamps are due to be issued on the day of the wedding on April 8, 2005. [Reuters]

David Stancliffe, who is bishop of Salisbury in southern England, said church rules dictate that Charles must atone for committing adultery when Parker Bowles was still wedded to Andrew Parker Bowles.

"The Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles will be taking part in prayers of penitence at the service of prayer and dedication following their civil marriage," said Stancliffe, quoted in The Sunday Times newspaper.

"Preparation for the formal expression of such prayers includes the making good of any hurts, the restoration of relationships and serious attention being paid to the relationships fractured or damaged by misconduct."

Camilla Parker Bowles, blamed by many Britons for causing the break-up of Charles's marriage to the late Princess Diana, divorced Andrew Parker Bowles in 1995 on grounds of having lived apart for two years.

Her wedding on April 8 to Charles in the 17th century Guildhall in Windsor, west of London, has provoked controversy, with Queen Elizabeth II opting not to attend the civil ceremony.

She will, however, be present at the Anglican service of prayer and dedication at nearby Windsor Castle afterwards.

Last week the British government confirmed that Parker Bowles would become queen once Charles becomes monarch upon his mother's death, although she will hold the official title of princess consort.

A spokesman for the prince's official residence Clarence House declined to comment on the bishop's remarks, telling The Sunday Times: "This is a private matter. We would not comment."

The Sunday Telegraph meanwhile reported that Charles has rejected legal advice to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement with Parker Bowles that would protect his assets should their marriage hit the rocks.

"There is no pre-nup," a friend of the Prince of Wales was quoted as saying. "He is adamant that the marriage has to be based from the start on trust and good faith."

Clarence House declined to comment on what it called "a private matter".

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