Comparisons are being drawn between the relationship of Prince Charles with Camilla Parker Bowles and the marriage in the late 1930s of King Edward VIII and the twice-divorced American Wallis Warfield Simpson.
Amid public uproar and before being crowned, Edward abdicated rather than give up the woman he loved. He then took the title Duke of Windsor. Shunned by his family, Edward made his home in Paris and rarely visited Britain.
James Whitaker, who writes on royalty for Britain's mass-circulation Daily Mirror, thinks Charles may find himself in a similar position regarding public reaction to marrying a divorcee. "For Charles to marry Camilla would be deeply unpopular with millions of people and would create a kind of verbal civil war in this country," Mr. Whitaker says. Perhaps significantly, before Edward died in 1972, Charles used to visit him at his home in Paris.