Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challenged..

'Blunders expose royal marriage to a legal challenge'
By Dominic Kennedy
Times: 7.9.06

THE marriage of the Prince of Wales to Camilla Parker Bowles is open to challenge in the courts because of the Lord Chancellor’s blundering, according to an expert on family law.
The episode has damaged the rule of law, says Stephen Cretney, who fears that the marriage’s validity could be challenged by people trying to prevent the Duchess of Cornwall becoming Queen or inheriting from the Royal Family. He accuses Lord Falconer of Thoroton of overturning advice that, by law, the Royal Family may not have civil weddings in England.

The Oxford-based academic suggests that ministers tried to cover up that the Duchess would become Queen, by waiting six weeks from the wedding announcement to confirm her future status. “The handling of these legal and constitutional questions seems to me to have been lamentable,†Dr Cretney said, “and to have had damaging consequences in terms not only of the uncertainty and distress caused to the two individuals immediately concerned but also of public respect for the legal system and the rule of law.

“The Lord Chancellor has a special responsibility for upholding the rule of law,†he told the Family Law Section of the Society of Legal Scholars, in Keele. “You may share my doubts whether the spirit of that tradition was conspicuously respected.â€

Errors began with the announcement that the wedding, in April last year, would be at Windsor Castle. The castle had not been approved as premises for weddings and the venue was schanged to a register office.

Dr Cretney said: “If ‘someone had blundered’ on an issue which could have been clarified by brief reference to a textbook, how truly ‘expert’ were those on whose advice the authorities relied?†Since 1836, the Royal Family has been excluded from marriage Acts allowing civil weddings in England, and, over the years, the law officers have confirmed this ban. But Lord Falconer rejected previous advice as “overcautious†and claimed that the Human Rights Act put the issue “beyond doubtâ€.

Dr Cretney disagreed. Although the legal validity of the marriage was “now most unlikely to be successfully challengedâ€, doubt remained. Were the marriage not valid, the Duchess could not become Queen and might lose entitlement to property settlements.

Clarence House had said that the Duchess would be called Princess Consort when Charles became King. Yet Edward VIII had had to abdicate when Stanley Baldwin told the Commons that the King’s wife necessarily becomes Queen “by the fact of her marriage to the Kingâ€.

The “long delay†in a government statement being made on the Duchess’s future status “and the lack of conviction and clarity apparent when a statement was finally made, almost suggested that there had been something to hide or at least not to make overly clearâ€.

Mr Baldwin and, later, John Major, had made statements in the Commons when such issues arose. “Mr Blair confined any statement of the Government’s views to a message of congratulations and a discussion on Richard & Judy,†Dr Cretney said.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs said: “The Lord Chancellor’s statement did not overturn any judicial decisions. The Human Rights Act requires all statutes to be reinterpreted, if possible, to respect the right to marry. The wife of a king is queen, but does not have to use the title.â€

Clarence House said that four legal sources had “agreed that there was no bar to members of the Royal Family marrying in a civil cereonyâ€.



War Hero
Re: Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challeng

As is shagging one...I denounce any mistreatment of animals...Im sure the RSPCA would have to be involved with a case of this variety!! :twisted: :twisted:
Re: Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challeng

It is debatable to suggest it contravenes the Human Rights Act on marriage. The laws regulating who may marry are the province of the State not the Strasbourg Court unless the State seeks to deny a person the right to marry. Charles could have married Camilla by renouncing his claim to the Throne, which is after all just a job, albeit a slightly unusual one. Likewise Roman Catholic Priests cannot demand the right to enter into matrimony using human rights law. They are free to abandon their career choice and marry. Likewise Charles was free to abandon his future role as King in order to marry. He chose not to do so.

Of course a simpler option would be to abandon the title Defender of the Faith and the Sovereign's role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. That would resolve the underlying problem and allow the law to be changed in favour of a watertight, legitimate marriage.

If Charles and Camilla can claim that preventing them from from marrying breaks human rights law then how can the government maintain the constitutional prohibition on a Catholic marriage? How can it justify having unelected clergy in the House of Lords mostly from the CoE? How can it justify the promotion of Christianity in state schools, which after all violates the human rights of non-Christian pupils? Let's hope a legal challenge is mounted and goes all the way to Strasbourg - it would need to, as the Courts will not interfere with the Monarchy. I suspect the outcome could be rather interesting - especially if the challenge were made on several fronts!

Incidentally I think he should be entitled to marry her if he loves her - and should not have been prevented from marrying her in the first place!


War Hero
Re: Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challeng

More of my 40% to be wasted on lawyers and the Royal Family......cos they desesrve it so!
Re: Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challeng

Well as a Republican I think the very concept of an unelected Head of State is undesirable... then I think of Bush and Blair and... er....


War Hero
Re: Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challeng

Agree with said comments above..!!

Who gives a f**k anyway!

I have no interest in the Royals at all....., present, living, dead, divorced..or divorced and dead..(we all now who that is..!!)...would only make any time for Zara Phillips... :twisted: :twisted: ...although wouldnt relish the thought of the mother in law!!


Book Reviewer
Re: Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challeng

WarMonger said:
...would only make any time for Zara Phillips... :twisted: :twisted: ...although wouldnt relish the thought of the mother in law!!

As a new RO2(T) back in 1986, I was press-ganged into HMS Forward's Royal Guard for Princess Anne when she officially opened the "new" building. Four months of weekly sessions of rifle drill with the local TA topped off with a couple of weekends with a CGI (to remove the evil Army influences) later, the evening finally arrives, and what a pleasant surprise it was. The guard duly did its stuff, and on returning weapons we retired to our classes. Anne visited the New Entry class first and made a point of speaking to each and every student and instructor (in that order). She then proceeded to the Medical Dept and started the same procedure of talking to everyone; one of her flunkies advised that they were already running late and that she'd have to hurry up since the Lord Mayor was waiting in the wardroom - her reply was that she wasn't there to visit the Lord Mayor, she was visiting HMS Forward and she would take as long as she liked! She eventually arrived at a Comms classroom where the subject was Ceremonial, speciifically Dress Ship Days; in bold letters on the chalkboard was a list of then seven days including the words "Phil the Greek's Birthday" - our CO visibly cringed, Anne just smiled. She eventually got round all the classrooms and retired to the Wardroom about an hour later than the official plan - after 15 minutes she'd "escaped" and spent the rest of the evening talking to JRs and their families. My respect for her rocketed that night.

By the way, she looks a hell of a lot better in the flesh than in the press!

Re: Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challeng

Is it just me or every slow news day there is something in the paper about this or Dania or shock horror 21 year old Army lad in going out and getting drunk shocker ( harry)

Just leave them alone and pick on someone who can actually answer back.


Re: Charles & Camilla - marriage may be legally challeng

If the marriage of Charles & Cowmilla is deemed to be illegal,, better let Pam the Spam know so she can make a move and marriage arrangements on another Impersonating a Naval Orrifice !!!