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British Royal Wedding Postponed to Accommodate Pope's Funeral

Britain's Prince Charles is postponing his wedding by one day in order not to conflict with the funeral of Pope John Paul the Second.

The wedding plans of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have not gone smoothly by any measure.

During the past couple of months, the venue for the civil ceremony had to be switched from Windsor Castle to a nearby town hall. Then, constitutional questions were raised about the legality of the prince's impending wedding. Eventually, legal advice deemed that it would be a legitimate union.

The queen decided not to attend the wedding ceremony, but will be at the blessing that will follow shortly after in the castle. The monarch's decision has been interpreted by the British press as a slight to her son.

Now, the announcement in Rome that Pope John Paul the Second's funeral would be held Friday, the same day as Charles' planned wedding, created a scheduling conflict.

The prince broke off his skiing holiday and headed back to London. Once here, his office, Clarence House, announced that his wedding would be pushed back by one day, to Saturday.

Royal biographer Penny Junor says in the final analysis, both Charles and Camilla had no other option. "It would have offended quite a number of people if they had been seen to be enjoying themselves on a day when the rest of the world was mourning," he said.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who will bestow the blessing on the royal couple, and Prime Minister Tony Blair will be able to attend the funeral and the wedding. Joining them at the funeral in Rome as the representative of the British royal family will be the groom to be, Prince Charles.