Media barred from royal wedding
LONDON, England -- Just 30 people will witness the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, royal officials say.
The heir to Britain's throne and his bride have decided their civil wedding ceremony in the town hall at Windsor, west of London, should be private -- without television or other media coverage.
The last time Prince Charles walked down the aisle -- in 1981 -- 800 million television viewers around the world watched him marry Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral.
But on April 8, only a few witnesses, including Charles' sons Princes William and Harry as well as Camilla's son and daughter, are expected to be present.
A spokeswoman for the prince said: "It was never intended that the civil ceremony should be televised as it was always planned to be a relatively small, personal occasion."
Queen Elizabeth, who is reported to have been slow to accept her eldest son's 35-year affair with the now divorced mother of two, will not attend the ceremony in what has been widely interpreted as a snub to the couple.
Charles still faces another tricky choice over his marriage to Camilla.
No decision has been made yet on whether the media will be allowed afterwards into the church blessing in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
That service will be conducted by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans.
The wedding has hit several snags since it was originally announced that the couple would marry at Windsor Castle.
But planners discovered that under British law, registering the castle as a wedding venue would mean opening it up to commoners' nuptials as well.
Constitutional experts also question the legality of a civil ceremony.
Earlier this month the registrar general for England and Wales dismissed 11 formal objections to the civil marriage. The objections mainly argued that the law did not allow the prince to marry in a civil ceremony.