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TOGETHER AT LAST; Charles and Camilla side by side for the cameras for the first time.

The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles have stepped out in public together for the first time as a couple.

Side by side, Charles and his long-time love Camilla left a glitzy birthday party in the full glare of the world's media.

It was a bold - and intentional - statement of their love, signalling that the long-running relationship is now ``official''.

Charles emerged from the Ritz Hotel in London followed closely by Camilla to extraordinary scenes outside the Piccadilly venue last night.

The prince took care to lead the way down the steps from the hotel and when, just for a moment, Camilla seemed lost in the blizzard of flashlights he gently touched her arm and steered her towards a waiting car.

Camilla, dressed in black, smiled radiantly as she took centre stage before the world's media.

Not since the days of Diana had so many photographers, TV crews and reporters gathered to record a royal event.

About 200 cameramen, three deep and craning on step ladders, lit up the cold night with a barrage of flashguns.
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Author:Archer, Peter
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 29, 1999
Words:177
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