No law change needed for royal wedding

Downing Street said tonight no legislation was needed “at this stage” for Prince Charles’ marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles to proceed.

Downing Street said tonight no legislation was needed “at this stage” for Prince Charles’ marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles to proceed.

But House of Commons sources said a view was being formed that an Act would be needed to comply with Camilla’s wishes not to become Queen on Charles’ accession to the throne.

That would simply be to ensure Camilla did not by default benefit from the complex Civil List provisions which relate to the Queen.

“It is not about symbolism or what Mrs Parker Bowles voluntarily wishes to call herself, it is simply a financial aspect related to the Civil List,” said the sources.

The sources said there was no legislation in prospect and it would not have to be enacted before the wedding.

Under the Royal Marriages Act the British Prime Minister is consulted about forthcoming weddings although technically he does not need to give his permission.

Tony Blair’s official spokesman said: “It is established practice, that’s why the Prime Minister has to be consulted and offers his formal advice.”

He added: “I can’t talk about legal advice that ministers give to the Crown. My understanding is there is no need for legislation at this stage.”

When news of the impending marriage broke this morning, parliamentary clerks were sent scurrying to their files to discover what role, if any, parliament would play.

Aside from the royal household, news of the couple’s intention to wed had been limited to fewer than a handful of people in No 10.

They would have included Jonathan Powell, Mr Blair’s Chief of Staff, and other senior officials.

Mr Blair’s spokesman tonight specifically denied Alastair Campbell had been told of the wedding plans by the Prime Minister or anyone else at No 10.

Mr Campbell, back in the political limelight as a communications chief for Labour’s election campaign, will have to decide, though, what impact an April 8 royal wedding would have on a May election.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox