4 APRIL 2003
As speculation continues as to whether a trip down the aisle is on the cards for the Prince of Wales and his companion Camilla Parker Bowles, at least one hurdle to possible nuptials seems to have disappeared.
The new vicar of St Mary's Church near his Highgrove estate – unlike his predecessor – has expressed a willingness to marry divorceés. "I will do the marriage of people who have been divorced, but only after I have interviewed both and feel it is appropriate," says Rev John Wright.
Reverend Wright is taking over the post from Rev John Hawthorne, who was completely opposed to the concept. "Whether it is Charlie Windsor or Charlie Smith, I still wouldn't marry him in my church," he once said. "If a former spouse is still alive, which is the case with Camilla, then I would be letting down the faith if I did marry them."
Though the Prince was once a regular worshipper at St Mary's, he's avoided the church since Reverend Hawthorne described him as an "unrepentant adulterer". The new vicar has invited Charles back into the fold, however, saying: "Parishioners are welcome to come round for a cup of tea – the Prince included."