Fears for Harry drove Charles to wed

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The Independent Online

Fears over Prince Harry's increasingly wild behaviour helped to push his father into marrying Camilla Parker Bowles, a friend of the couple has told The Independent on Sunday.

Fears over Prince Harry's increasingly wild behaviour helped to push his father into marrying Camilla Parker Bowles, a friend of the couple has told The Independent on Sunday.

The Prince of Wales believes he has little chance of bringing his son into line while his own irregular relationship is a subject of controversy. Insiders confirm the Queen gave Charles "a push" because she feared the monarchy was being damaged. But, friends say, he also decided to set his affairs in order for the sake of his younger son.

"I think they have come to realise that they had no hope of getting Harry under control until they got themselves under control," said the friend.

With public opinion showing signs of turning against her, Mrs Parker Bowles is resisting pressure from courtiers to give a lengthy TV interview to win support. Polls suggest most people are opposed to her being styled Her Royal Highness and that 65 per cent still blame her for the break-up of Charles's marriage to Diana.

"She always says that she has survived because she has kept her mouth shut," said one old friend last night.

The couple face demands to apologise publicly for their past infidelity at the Church of England's General Synod, which opens tomorrow.

Evangelical churchmen are to demand an emergency debate on the royal wedding at the church's governing council, claiming that the union of two self-confessed adulterers could damage both the church and the institution of marriage.

The Rev Rod Thomas, a leading member of the conservative Reform grouping, said he is prepared to call for a debate when the Synod opens in London. He said: "If they go ahead as things stand, it will increase the pressure on the future King, increase the pressure for disestablishment, undermine his role, and the whole effect on our institutions will be to bring them under fresh pressure.

"How could he possibly say the coronation oath promising to uphold the teachings of the Church of England? How could he say that with credibility in view of his own circumstances?" asked Mr Thomas, vicar of St Matthew's Plymouth.

"It is up to them to say we believe in lifelong marriage and that we have acted incorrectly and that before God we're sorry for these things. If our interest is in promoting the concept of marriage as a lifelong commitment involving faithfulness, the question has to be what can we do to make sure that this wedding doesn't damage that concept?"

Dr Philip Giddings, a senior Synod member and a prominent traditionalist, said: "I would not be surprised if the announcement of the wedding is raised at Synod."

Both Prince Charles and Mrs Parker Bowles are "immensely relieved" the news is out, say friends. They reveal that the Prince edged towards making his proposal over the past 18 months when he has spent an increasing amount of time with Camilla on the Balmoral estate. He also came to accept that a marriage to his partner could help to settle hisyounger son. Harry's swastika-sporting appearance at a party earlier this year brought to public attention several years of deteriorating behaviour.

Tony Blair yesterday ruled out a bank holiday on 8 April.

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