Monday, February 14, 2005

Overwight and Legal Challenges for Charles and Camilla

Watching Oprah and there is a guy who weighs 763 lbs and whose wasit was a size 86. He has lost over 500 lbs. I weigh 190 lbs (app.) and wouldnt mind losing another 20-25lbs. He has had to have surgery to remove 3 yards of excess skin which was "left behind" by the weight leaving. Its all rather scary.

Spent the day planning a collaborative presentation to Government which will take placed next week (22nd). We're putting a lot of time into what is in fact a simple presentation. Still, its the price of collaboration.

Rumour has it that the marriage of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles (see earlier blog) is already problematic. The BBC ran a documentary at the week-end which questioned the legality of the civil ceremony (followed by a blessing) proposed by the Royal Family (and accepted by cabinet). The problem is the 1772 Royal Marriages Act, which stipulates some conditions not yet met by Charles and Camilla. This all at the time when the Canadian House of Commons is debating civil marriage for same sex couples (maybe Charles and Camilla could use this legilsation, if passed!).

The 1836 Marriage Act allowed for civil marriages in England for the first time, with the exemption of the Royal Family. It was revised in 1949 but no specific changes were made to the royal exemption. Dr Stephen Cretney QC, Emeritus Fellow of Legal History, Oxford University, said he found it impossible to understand how a civil marriage for the couple in England could be legal. He said: "There is no statutory procedure whereby members of the Royal Family can marry in a register office. Although there may be this ceremony and public rejoicing, it could be the Prince of Wales is not married and Mrs Parker Bowles is not his wife and, constitutionally, it's important to know whether they are married or not."

But it was claimed that the Government and Buckingham Palace had taken advice from several independent lawyers who advised the marriage would be legal. Clarence House told on the programme that it believed the 1949 Act was not a continuation of the first Act but a completely new one, which did not specifically prevent members of the Royal Family from having civil marriages.

But Valentine Le Grice QC countered: "I am unsure of any such legislation. It's not open to them to follow the normal procedures of registry marriage."

The legal experts said until recently the Government's stance had been that under the Act a civil marriage in the Royal Family in England was not allowed. The experts want the recent legal advice to the Government to be made public to settle the issue. It was said on Panorama, if civil marriage in England was not an option, the couple could either appeal under the Human Rights Act, get married in Scotland, or go in for a common law marriage. The last was abolished for everyone except the royals. The other way out is to askParliament amend the law. (Based on materials from the Hindustan Times).

I'll keep us all posted.

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