Peter Hitchens
Mail on Sunday

Charles has gained a princess... and lost his right to rule
09:20am 15th February 2005

Charles cannot now be a proper King and he knows it. That is why he dare not allow Camilla Parker Bowles to be styled Princess of Wales or, later, Queen Camilla. Everyone will know it is not true.

The trouble is 'King Charles' will also have a false ring, if he ever actually ascends the throne.

He may, by his decision to marry a woman who is already married, have struck the final blow at the Crown that will end a thousand years of monarchy.

What a pity that a man who comes so close to understanding the problems facing this country should make such a blunder.

I was planning to defend him this week against the silly, spiteful attacks on his wealth and estate, which ensure his independence from the Blairite all-encompassing octopus. I was going to say that he stood for many valuable things—tradition, law and faith, not to mention the great principle of inheritance, which all civilisations before now have recognised as vital for continuity and a proper balance between the generations. But now I cannot.

His right to be heir to the throne, and eventually King, is based upon ancient, unalterable laws. The same laws prevent him from marrying Mrs Parker Bowles.

The pathetic hierarchy of the Church of England may prance around in medieval robes and occupy cathedrals that are the glory of Europe's age of faith. But they get their ideas from the latest edition of The Guardian. They may think they can give permission for this event, but they simply do not have that power.

You can have divorce or monarchy. You cannot have both. When Edward VIII preferred divorce, Church, Parliament and people, who still believed in something, forced him to abdicate.

Now a demoralised country, which believes in nothing, shrugs as a demoralised Prince makes the wrong choice. We will all pay for it.