Magazine article Newsweek

A Crown for Camilla?

Magazine article Newsweek

A Crown for Camilla?

Article excerpt

WILL THE PRINCE OF WAILS NOW PUT up--or, at least, shut up? Camilla Parker Bowles, his love of two decades, announced her plans to divorce last week. "Throughout our marriage," went the prepared statement, "we have always tended to follow rather different interests, but in recent years we have led completely separate lives." Charles, back from skiing in Switzerland, didn't sound off about his own intentions. Pretty discreet for a guy who once whined in a bit of overheard phone sex that he'd rather live inside Camilla's trousers than deliver a speech. or who admitted in front of millions of TV viewers that he'd been unfaithful to Diana--and intimated it was with you-know-who. That confession apparently proved too much for Andrew Parker Bowles, Camilla's husband (who the London tabs say had his own affairs). He reportedly told a friend, "I cannot go on living somebody else's life."

Then again, what kind of life is Charles living. "Not, apparently, the one his subjects would like him to lead. In a recent poll, only 16 percent picked the prince as their favorite royal; a different survey found that 49 percent believed there would be no House of Windsor in 50 years. "It's a big setback," says Harold Brooks-Baker, head of Burke's Peerage, the blueblood bible. "Breaking up other people's marriages has always been considered, even by the upper classes, a great sin." Charles isn't likely to atone by imitating his great-uncle, Edward VIII, who abdicated to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson. Giving up the throne isn't necessary; the Constitution doesn't bar a divorced prince from becoming king--or from marrying a divorced woman, as long as they wed outside the Church of England (in Scotland, say). …

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