Divorce no bar to my duty as King, says Prince

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The Independent Online
THE PRINCE OF WALES claimed he had no plans for divorce in the documentary about his life shown on ITV last night. But he said that even if he did, it would not prevent him carrying out his duties as King.

'I don't see why it should be an impediment,' he told Jonathan Dimbleby in the two-and-a-half hour profile, Charles: The Private Man, the Public Role.

The programme also revealed that the Prince diverged from the Queen in his attitude towards the Anglican Church. 'I personally would much rather see (my title) as Defender of Faith, not the Faith, because it means just one interpretation of the faith, which I think is sometimes something that causes a great deal of a problem.'

In other radical departures, the Prince called for the reintroduction of some form of national service, although not necessarily military, and suggested Britain's soldiers ought to be paid for international peacekeeping duties.

He acknowledged that 'clearly adaptation is required' of the monarchy. But he said he drew the line at following the Dutch monarchy on to bicycles: 'There is such a thing as good taste.'

Most controversially, the Prince admitted publicly for the first time that he had cheated on his wife. Asked if he was faithful during his marriage, the Prince said: 'Yes.' Then he paused and added six words which may come to haunt him : 'Until it became irretrievably broken down.'

He added: 'Obviously I'd much rather it didn't, it hadn't happened and I'm sure, um, my wife would have felt the same. It wasn't through lack of trying, you know, on both parts.' He did not, he said, expect divorce. 'That sort of question is very much in the future and if it happens then it'll happen but I personally would - at the moment it's not a consideration in my mind.'

He refused to answer the charge that he had caused the marriage to break down by being repeatedly unfaithful with Camilla Parker Bowles. He stuttered: 'All I can say is, um, that, I mean, there is no truth in, in so much of this speculation and Mrs Parker Bowles is a great friend of mine and I have a large number of friends. . .'

The constant theme was the Prince's frustration with media intrusion. But there were other preoccupations: drinking camel's milk with reputed aphrodisiac qualities in a Bedouin hut he could be heard to mutter: 'Fat lot of use it's going to be to me]'

Court Circular, page 20

Letters, page 21

Prince of uncertainty, page 23

Thomas Sutcliffe, page 24

(Photograph omitted)

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