Here in Britain, its been a curious week for our Royal Family. While we have been marking what would have been the fortieth birthday of Diana, Princess of Wales killed four years ago in a Paris car crash her former husband Charles, Prince of Wales, has been out on the razzle, and seen publicly kissing his girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles, for the very first time. A kiss is just a kiss except when you are the heir to the British throne, and your girlfriend is your mistress... and WAS your mistress when you were supposed to be married to the fairy-tale princess who was the mother of your children.
In case youve missed out on the story so far, let me explain.
As a young man, Charles dated Camilla, but she married someone else. Charles then married the young Diana Spencer. It didnt work out, so he took up with Camilla again. Charles and Diana divorced, Diana died, and Camilla, now divorced herself,
moved in with Charles. Some resent Camilla because she isnt Diana. Some say shes a home-wrecker. Charles says Camilla is the one non-negotiable part of his life hence their public kiss. At a charity fund-raiser last week, with photographers present, Charles greeted Camilla with an affectionate peck on each cheek steamy it wasnt, Al & Tipper Gore needn't feel envious but it was another step in the long public relations march the pair have undertaken. Increasingly they and their children - are seen together. They want the public to accept them and their relationship. Is marriage on the cards? The Royal Family dont have much of a track record in that department. Prince Charles, his aunt Margaret, his brother Andrew, his sister Anne theyve all been divorced. And poor Anne, is she in trouble again? Next year the Queen will be celebrating her golden jubilee, fifty years on the throne, and Charles wont want to upstage his mom on her special anniversary. So no wedding bells for him & Camilla yet. A kiss is just a kiss, but who knows what will happen as time goes by?