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The latest on Charles’s wedding problems:
Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles will go ahead Friday as planned, even if it clashes with the funeral of Pope John Paul II, the prince’s office said Sunday.
This just seems a foolish position to take, because most of the people invited to the wedding (or at least the civil ceremony) will be expected (and no doubt will attend) the funeral in Rome. Last time I checked, people can’t be in two places at once, so Charles will end up with no wedding guests, making the whole event look even more of a farce than before.
It’ll also present a bit of a dilemma to the journalists – which is more important, the unpopular wedding of the future king of our country, or the funeral of the greatly respected leader of over one billion worldwide? It’s certainly not clear-cut, because they’re both about as high as high can be on their relative importance scales.
As it happens, I shouldn’t think it would matter anyway, since I think the Pope’s funeral will be on Thursday, not that I have any particular basis for that feeling. If I’m right, though, it will be a mighty busy news week, with the election called on Tuesday (thanks to the sensible and respectful delay in the election announcement), and the wedding on Friday. Monday will probably have lots of coverage of Mr Blair’s visits to Westminster Cathedral, and Wednesday will be busy with the last PMQs before the dissolution of Parliament.
The worst possible problem for Mr Blair now would be the unlikely calling of the funeral for Wednesday, which would see him miss the last PMQs, and struggle to get an announcement out on Tuesday. Of course, he could surprise us all and announce next week, or even dumbfound us all and wait until June, Maggie Thatcher style – though that would be a bad move, considering the battering Labour are likely to receive in the local elections – unless Milburn et al can work that into the masochism strategy somehow.
Whichever way you look at it, though, this week is going to be a biggun’ in almost every news sphere, and with an intense election campaign and conclave looking like they’re going to coincide, it won’t be letting up any time soon.