updated 3/18/2005 12:03:51 PM ET 2005-03-18T17:03:51

The blessing ceremony following the civil marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will be shown live on television, the prince's Clarence House office said Friday.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is to lead the blessing at Windsor Castle following a civil wedding service at Windsor town hall April 8. The civil service will not be shown on TV, Clarence House said.

Clarence House announced last month that the 56-year-old heir to the throne would wed longtime companion Parker Bowles, 57.

It is unprecedented for an heir to the throne to marry outside of a church, but the Church of England — of which Charles will be supreme governor when he is king — has qualms about remarriage for divorcees. Both the prince and Parker Bowles were divorced. Her husband is still living. Charles' first wife, Princess Diana, died in 1997.

The prospect of a royal wedding sparked a media frenzy, but the union has not pleased everyone.

Eleven people submitted caveats, or objections, to the registrar general for England and Wales. Some argued that the Marriage Act of 1949, which authorized civil marriages, excluded royals. Registrar-General Len Cook disagreed, ruling last week that the marriage was legal.

Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II, caused a stir when she said she would not attend the civil ceremony, although she plans to go to the religious service.

The palace said she was skipping the town hall event out of deference to the couple's desire for a low-key wedding.

There also is the powerful ghost of Princess Diana, still much loved in Britain. Many of her devoted admirers blamed Charles and Parker Bowles for Diana's problems, because of their close relationship during his marriage. The prince acknowledged he had been unfaithful after his marriage to Diana had broken down.

The Diana Circle, a group devoted to the princess' memory, plans to mark the wedding day by laying flowers outside Kensington Palace, Diana's former home in London.

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