10 FEBRUARY 2003

Church of England bishops have presented new guidelines for remarriage that may put a damper on any plans the Prince of Wales has to marry his longtime companion, Camilla Parker-Bowles.

The new ruling, which spells out seven conditions for remarriage, tells clergy to determine: "Was the relationship between the applicants – so far as you can tell from the information made available to you – a direct cause of the breakdown of the former marriage?". In Charles' case, his former wife, the late Princess Diana, publicly claimed the Prince's relationship with Camilla helped lead to the end of their marriage – a declaration that some say could now hinder any future wedding between the two.

A second question – "Would the new marriage be likely to be a cause of hostile public comment or scandal? – may also be an issue, as polls have shown the British public strongly divided on the issue of Camilla and Charles' relationship.

Though the high-profile couple now seems to be facing more obstacles amid growing talk of a trip to the altar, readers don't think a wedding is on the cards for 2003. In our recent survey, more than 70 per cent of on-line voters believe Charles won't pop the question this year.

Meanwhile, the Prince has been quietly aiding World War II hero Nancy Wake, the inspiration of the Cate Blanchett film Charlotte Gray. The Daily Mirror reports the 90-year-old Australian, who saved hundreds of British soldiers through her work with the French resistance, had sold her medals to support herself at a London hotel. Charles stepped in, helping to foot the £220-a-day bill. "I hope no-one thinks that I'm leaning on anyone," says Nancy, adding: "I think (Prince Charles) is wonderful."

Photo: ©
A new guideline asks clergy to determine if a couple's relationship caused the breakdown of either of their previous marriages
Photo: ©
Meanwhile, Charles is also making headlines for lending a helping hand to the 90-year-old WWII hero who inspired the film Charlotte Gray