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Meditation 327
Charles and Camilla

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Since Prince Charles announced his intention to marry his long-term friend Camilla Parker-Bowles, there seems to have been non-stop criticism.

Some of this is picayune, such as Jay Leno's nightly carping at their looks. So what! If they are happy with each other, what concern is their appearance to anyone else? It's a cheap shot, Jay.

Some of the problem is religious, however. Most importantly, the Church of England, of which Charles will be titular head when and if he becomes King, frowns on marriage between divorced couples. That is why some C. of E. priests plan on picketing the ceremony. Also, under English law, those in line for the throne are not allowed to marry Catholics, and Camilla used to be one.

This relationship has been going on in one form or another since 1970 - that is twice as long as the average marriage. At their age, the fact that they want to commit to each other rather than seek a trophy bride or studmuffin does them both great credit. Their intentions support the institution of marriage rather than undermine it.

But, the marriage does suggest that changes are necessary in England.

It is time the link between the monarchy and the Church of England was broken. It should be agreed that when Queen Elizabeth II gives up the throne, the monarch should no longer be head of the Church. This would mean the remaining legal restrictions about Catholics marrying into the royal family could be discarded.

At the same time, the Church of England should be disestablished. It is an anomaly that what is arguably the most atheistic country in the world has an official church.

Let them marry! And break the church / state ties in England.