updated 3/22/2005 10:31:12 AM ET 2005-03-22T15:31:12

Faced with a new row over her future married role, Camilla Parker Bowles has insisted she is happy not to be called queen when Prince Charles becomes king.

But it would still require a change in the law for her not to assume the title automatically when Charles eventually succeeds his mother, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

Confusion has reigned in the run-up to Charles’ wedding to his longtime lover next month with the venue switched, constitutional experts questioning the legality of a civil ceremony and the monarch deciding not to attend her son’s town hall nuptials.

Now the woman widely blamed for the break-up of Charles’ marriage to the late Princess Diana finds herself ensnared in yet another legal tangle.

Acutely aware of public misgivings over his fiance, Charles had ruled out the divorced mother of two assuming the title of queen when he accedes to the throne.

Polls show that the British public has come to accept their 35-year relationship but only a tiny minority believe she should be queen.

On announcing his engagement, Charles said that his future wife would be known as the Princess Consort when he accedes to the throne.

But the British government, quizzed in parliament over the sensitive issue, said on Monday that legislation would be required in Britain to deny Parker Bowles the title of queen.

Widespread complications
The complications do not stop there.

The law would also have to be changed in Commonwealth nations like Canada, Australia and New Zealand which have a monarchical constitution.

That could then fuel republican resistance to the House of Windsor’s figurehead role in these countries.

Labour member of parliament Andrew McKinlay, who raised the issue in the House of Commons, said: “Prince Charles has been less than frank with the country.

“He knows that it was established in 1936 that the King’s spouse automatically becomes queen unless there is a law passed to the contrary.”

Despite “Camilla will be Queen” headlines across Britain’s royal-obsessed tabloids on Tuesday, Charles’ aides insisted, “nothing has changed.”

“The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles are entirely happy she should be known as the Princess Consort,” his spokesman told Reuters. “We have always accepted that legislation might be necessary.”

The wedding plans have been widely seen as a fiasco since the couple announced their engagement in February, heightening the contrast with Charles’ 1981 marriage to Diana.

Then, 800 million television viewers around the world watched the ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

On April 8, just 30 people will attend Charles and Camilla’s civil ceremony at Windsor town hall, a lowly venue just down the road from the imposing Windsor Castle.

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