The prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles will use their wedding Saturday as an opportunity to "earnestly repent" the "manifold sins and wickedness" of their past deeds. In words that cannot fail to resonate, the couple have chosen the sternest possible prayer of penitence from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer to be read by themselves and their guests at the blessing of their marriage led by the archbishop of Canterbury.
The prayer reads: "We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, by thought, word and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these misdoings."
Clarence House revealed the order of service in a briefing to journalists at St. James's Palace Thursday afternoon, but refused to comment on reports in Thursday's Sun that a journalist had managed to drive a fake bomb into the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, described the breach as an "unfortunate incident" but promised his force was doing "everything that we know how to do" to guarantee security on the royal wedding day.
Among the 28 guests at the intimate civil ceremony at the 17th century Guildhall, Windsor, will be Princes William and Harry; Princess Anne; her husband, Rear Adm. Timothy Laurence, and her children, Peter and Zara Phillips; Prince Andrew and his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and Mrs. Parker Bowles' children, Tom and Laura.
After the half-hour ceremony, the prince and the new duchess of Cornwall will sign the marriage register, which will be witnessed by Prince William and Tom Parker Bowles. The couple will also sign the royal register, which records royal marriages and baptisms. They will then retire to Windsor Castle to begin preparations for the blessing of their marriage, while the queen entertains selected foreign royals and other guests over lunch.
The queen is not expected to formally greet the couple on their return to the castle, but she and the duke of Edinburgh will attend the service of prayer and dedication at the castle's St. George's Chapel at 2.30 p.m. Saturday
Nearly 800 guests are expected to attend the 45-minute ceremony, for which the dean of Windsor has written a special prayer, with a further 2,000 members of the public allowed into the castle grounds.
The guests include Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie; musician Jools Holland; actor and writer Sanjeev Bhaskar and his partner, actor and author Meera Syal; Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy and their wives; designer Philip Treacy; actor Kenneth Branagh; novelist Jilly Cooper; and comedian Joan Rivers.
Barbara Fell, the landlady of one of Prince Charles' favorite pubs -- the Rose and Crown in Boylston, Derbyshire -- along with Joe and Hazel Relph, owners of a Cumbrian bed and breakfast, and the royal couple's local vicar, the Rev. Christopher Mulholland, are also invited, as are a number of foreign royals and dignitaries and the heads of some of the couple's favorite charities.
Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, who urged the prince to marry the woman with whom he was unfaithful to Diana, princess of Wales, will give a reading from the Book of Revelation, while actor Timothy West, who has known the couple for some years, will read from "Ode on Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth.
All the guests will be entertained by the queen at a reception in Windsor Castle's state apartments before the couple depart for Scotland shortly before 6 p.m.