LONDON -- The wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, beset by problems since it was first announced, has been postponed a day to avoid conflicting with the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
The wedding, which had been scheduled for Friday in Windsor, west of London, will be held Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced yesterday after the Vatican set the pope's funeral for Friday.
Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth II at the funeral, the palace said.
Paddy Harverson, the official spokesman for the prince's Clarence House office, said Charles felt that switching the date was ''absolutely the right thing to do."
Prince Charles and Parker Bowles made the decision to move the wedding after he cut short his Swiss skiing holiday yesterday. Charles returned to London where he and his fiancée attended an afternoon memorial service for the pope at Westminster Cathedral.
Parker Bowles will not accompany the prince to the funeral.
The couple's major ceremonial occasion, a service of blessing, had been set for Friday. They plan to marry in a civil ceremony in the town hall at Windsor, followed by the blessing in the chapel of Windsor Castle and a reception in the royal residence.
Charles's office did not immediately announce the time of Saturday's wedding. But royal watchers speculated it would be in the morning so as not to disrupt the plans of other couples scheduled to marry at the Windsor town hall on Saturday afternoon.
The postponement was the latest in a series of glitches in the prince's marriage plans.
Charles and Parker Bowles initially planned to marry at Windsor Castle. But it wasn't licensed for a civil wedding, so the couple chose the more downscale town hall.
Then the queen decided not to attend the civil ceremony, immediately prompting rumors of a royal snub. She does plan to attend the blessing ceremony.
A debate over what title Parker Bowles would have after the wedding followed. Charles has said that if he is crowned, Parker Bowles would become princess consort. The British government says, however, that if Charles is king, she automatically becomes queen.