LONDON — Prince Charles' office said Monday that his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles will be moved to Saturday so that it doesn't conflict with the funeral for Pope John Paul II. Charles will attend Friday's funeral in Rome, the prince's Clarence House office added.
Charles also cut short his Swiss skiing holiday to attend a memorial service for the pope in London later Monday, his office added. Parker Bowles also planned to attend the service at Westminster Cathedral, it said.
Hundreds of world leaders are expected to attend the funeral, including President Bush. British officials have not said whether Prime Minister Tony Blair will attend.
Speaking before the Vatican confirmed the funeral would be held on Friday , Charles’ office had said the wedding was still scheduled for then.
The royal wedding has been hit by several glitches from the outset.
The venue had to be switched from Windsor Castle to the town hall after a mix up over marriage licenses. Constitutional experts have also questioned the legality of a civil ceremony, and the queen has said she will not attend the wedding but instead go to a blessing given afterwards by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Willians.
Replica ring goes on sale
Meanwhile, a replica of Parker Bowles’ diamond engagement ring went on sale at a British supermarket Monday — and immediately became the chain’s fastest selling jewelry item.
Asda is offering copies of the royal ring in sterling silver and emerald-cut cubic zirconia that retail for $34, and as of Monday morning, 30 percent of the 2,500 replicas had been sold, said Asda spokesman Ed Watson.
Parker Bowles’ ring formerly belonged to the late Queen Mother Elizabeth and is made of platinum with a square central diamond with three diamond baguettes — rectangular diamonds — on either side.
Asda is also promising more upmarket, made-to-order version of the ring. Priced at $54,000, it will be platinum with one 3.8-carat diamond and six others weighing a total of one carat.
Justine Reid, Asda’s jewelry buyer, said the store has been “inundated with requests from royalists from as far afield as Australia and Japan” for the cheap replica.
Office clerk Sandra Wall, 50, from Kent county south of London, was one of the first to buy a replica ring Monday at a store in south London.
“I’m a great fan of the royal family,” she said. “I think it’s great that they are finally getting married. I hope they will be very happy for the rest of their lives.”
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.