No castle wedding for Charles, Camilla

/ Source: The Associated Press

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will not wed at Windsor Castle, the prince's office announced Thursday, but in the more prosaic surroundings of the local town hall.

Charles' Clarence House office said the April 8 civil ceremony would take place at the Guildhall in Windsor, west of London, rather than at the castle as announced last week. A blessing led by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams after the ceremony will still take place at the castle's St. George's Chapel.

Windsor's town hall, the Guildhall, was built in 1690. It is a sturdy building of brick and Portland stone, partly designed by Christopher Wren.

It is one of 29 approved venues for civil wedding ceremonies in the Windsor area. Local authorities charge 265 pounds (US$500) for a weekday ceremony — plus 20 pounds extra if, like Charles and Camilla, a couple wishes to wed on a Friday.

Clarence House also said Parker Bowles, 57, had chosen Robinson Valentine to design her wedding outfit and Philip Treacy to design her hat.

The prince and his longtime love announced a week ago that they were to wed, after a 30-year romance that endured through Charles' rocky marriage to the late Princess Diana.

To salve concerns among traditional Anglicans, who frown on the remarriage of two divorcees, the couple said they would have a civil ceremony rather than a church wedding.

Parker Bowles will take the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Consort, rather then Princess of Wales -- Diana's title -- and will not become queen when Charles accedes to the throne.