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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Charles 'Flouts' Friend, Stirs Tempest

LONDON -- British heir to the throne Prince Charles found himself under attack Monday as speculation mounted that he might try to win over a hostile public and marry his long-term mistress.

Just two days before his divorce from Princess Diana becomes final, Charles was criticized by church leaders and parliamentarians as it became clear he had no intention of ending his 26-year love affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Publication on Sunday of a picture of him spending the weekend with Parker Bowles and two other friends re-kindled speculation that he may try to persuade Britons to accept his mistress.

"It is safe to say that for the time being, and perhaps for several years ahead, such a marriage would not be acceptable," said constitutional expert Lord Blake.

Charles said last year when Parker Bowles herself was divorced that he had no intention of marrying again. But on Monday bookmakers William Hill slashed the odds on re-marriage before the year 2000 to 2/1 from 5/1.

Charles's relationship with Parker Bowles, 49, has dismayed many Britons who cannot understand how he could prefer the older, frumpy blonde to the glamorous, fashion-conscious Diana.

A Sunday Telegraph survey showed bishops were strongly against against Charles re-marrying, believing it would be difficult for Christians to tolerate.

Meanwhile Diana on Monday denied reports that she had agreed to give an interview to U.S. chat show host Barbara Walters. A report in the Daily Express said Diana would take a fee of around ?750,000 ($1.1 million) for an interview with Walters which would be shown in November.

Diana signed a confidentiality pledge as part of the divorce agreement forged by the royal lawyers.