The legality of Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles is being questioned again - after 50-year-old documents released yesterday (29MAR05) claim members of the British royal family cannot marry in civil services.

Following a series of failed legal challenges to next month's (APR05) royal wedding, papers issued under the UK's Freedom Of Information Act show government officials refused to allow a civil ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II's late sister PRINCESS MARGARET and Group Captain PETER TOWNSEND in 1955.

Some legal experts now claim divorcees Charles' and Camilla's wedding would be illegal.

But the current British government insists legislation has since rendered the previous laws restricting royal marriages out-of-date.

In the half-century-old documents, the-then Lord Chancellor, LORD KILMUIR, said, "Marriages of members of the royal family are still not in the same position as marriages of other persons.

"This means that... such a marriage can be validly celebrated only by a clergyman of the Church Of England.

"A civil marriage before the registrar and marriage according to the rights of any other Church than the Church Of England are not possible."

30/03/2005 13:49