Camilla steps out
Camilla Parker Bowles made a rare appearance beside the Prince
of Wales on an official engagement yesterday, days after the former Archbishop
of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, urged them to marry if they wished. Looking
happy and relaxed, Mrs Parker Bowles joined the prince in the market town of
Marlborough, Wilts, which was celebrating its 800 years of royal charter.
Clarence House officials stressed that her appearance was simply because Mrs Parker Bowles is a trustee of the "Bobby Vans" appeal, a community police scheme whose representatives were invited to a reception attended by the prince. But her public outings with the prince are choreographed as part of a campaign to win greater public acceptance, a battle she appears to be winning. She was greeted warmly by the crowds as she left the reception, in the 17th century Merchant's House museum, to spend three minutes with the prince examining two Bobby Vans.
Onlookers jokingly booed when the couple went their separate ways after so little time together in front of the cameras. Prince Charles went on alone to attend a civic reception. Elsie Peck, a Marlborough resident, summed up the sentiments of many in the crowd. "I think it's nice to see them together," she said. "They've got a life to lead, haven't they? I don't see why not, we can't all live in the past."