Camilla Parker Bowles, the companion of the Prince of Wales, is expected to ignore the pleas of his advisers and take part in today's march in central London. A host of celebrity hunt supporters will also swell the ranks of the protest, which is expected to bring the capital to a halt.
They include the quiz show host Anne Robinson, the footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, the novelist John Mortimer, the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, the Gulf War commander Sir Peter de la Billiere and the actor Diana Rigg. Hundreds of thousands of farmers, vets, terrier men, village and market-town residents, huntsmen, MPs including the Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, and the unaligned pro-hunt supporters will form the mass of the protest.
The scale of the Liberty and Livelihood march is expected to be bigger than the first rural march in 1998, which drew about 250,000 people, and historic protests by the Chartists and the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
Mrs Parker Bowles, a "passionate" member of the Beaufort hunt, is expected to ignore fears that her presence at the largest anti-government protest for years will raise constitutional and political problems for the Royal Family.
"We have a good idea that she will turn up with her friends from the Beaufort," said one Countryside Alliance source. "We won't be surprised to see her."
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