- The Washington Times - Monday, March 21, 2005

LONDON — Camilla Parker Bowles can become queen after all, despite statements by Prince Charles that she will take a lesser title after marrying him, the government said yesterday.

Replying to a question from a lawmaker, Constitutional Affairs Minister Christopher Leslie said in a written statement that the marriage of Prince Charles and Mrs. Parker Bowles would not be “morganatic” — in which the spouse of inferior status has no claim to the standing of the other.

“This is absolutely unequivocal that she automatically becomes queen when he becomes king,” said Andrew Mackinlay, the lawmaker who raised the question.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs confirmed that interpretation, saying that legislation would be required to deny Mrs. Parker Bowles the title of queen.

Similar legislation apparently would be required in more than a dozen countries — such as Australia, Jamaica and Canada — in which the British sovereign is the head of state.

In a gesture to public sentiment against Mrs. Parker Bowles ever becoming queen, Prince Charles said when he announced the April 8 marriage that she would take the title of “princess consort” if he succeeds to the throne.

Until then, she would be known as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall after the civil wedding.

Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office was in no hurry to address any complications over the bride’s title.

“The position at the moment is limited to what the title would be on her marriage. In terms of any future events, let’s wait until future events arise,” Mr. Blair’s spokesman said.

Asked whether she would automatically become queen in the absence of specific legislation about her title, the spokesman replied: “I’m not disputing what you have said.”

Public opinion polls have indicated broad public support for the marriage, but continued strong resistance to giving her the title of queen.

Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997, had blamed Mrs. Parker Bowles for the breakup of her marriage.

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