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Prince pleased with Queen's Camilla invite.

The Queen has invited Camilla Parker Bowles to next month's Golden Jubilee classical concert in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, it emerged yesterday.

The invitation is being seen as an unprecedented gesture of friendship by the Queen towards the Prince of Wales' companion, with whom relations had previously been described as frosty.

It comes just a day after Mrs Parker Bowles, aged 54, made her first public speech.

On Saturday, in her first solo public engagement, she gave an international conference a moving account of her mother's agonising death from the crippling bone disease osteoporosis.

The concert, being held on Saturday June 1, is one of the highlights of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Called the Prom at the Palace, it will be attended by 12,000 members of the public and will feature performances from opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, baritone Sir Thomas Allen, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.

It will allow Charles and Mrs Parker Bowles to appear together for the first time at an important royal event.

It is understood the prince, who has called the relationship a 'non-negotiable' part of his life, was 'pleased and surprised' by the Queen's invitation.

Mrs Parker Bowles's address to the osteoporosis conference signalled a step towards defining her as a public figure in her own right.

In a speech written by herself and her father, Major Bruce Shand, she told delegates at the summit in Lisbon, Portugal, of the final days of her mother Rosalind Shand, who died aged 72 in 1994.

Mrs Parker Bowles, who is president of the National Osteoporosis Society, also called on the Government and health service to spend more money tackling the devastating disease.

More people will be shunning this year's Golden Jubilee celebrations than taking part, according to a survey out yesterday. The poll was conducted two weeks after the Queen Mother's death when it was widely thought support for the monarchy had increased.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 13, 2002
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