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REFLECTIONS ON THE ROYAL VOWS

"Better to marry than to burn!" said that born-again Christian St. Paul. Well, now Prince Charles has married (again) and is no longer burning. And, honestly, would you really deny him his Camilla? It may have been wrong, but this love affair, star crossed as it was, seems undaunted by the bludgeonings of fate.

Interesting to note that, at the wedding, a British actor, Timothy West, was chosen to read William Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood." The Daily Telegraph's Christopher Howse had this to say about that: "It is serious if vague stuff, and full of familiar quotations from the very first line of its prefatory motto 'The Child is Father of the Man.'

"Wordsworth, in his slightly pantheistic way, grasps hold of unfulfilled yearnings for something beyond the 'obstinate questions' reaching out for 'the eternal silence' and 'that immortal sea.' If not actually Christian, the lines are not necessarily incompatible with Christianity, and they sound very nice."

(Isn't that impenetrable kind of writing fabulous or what? Sometimes one has to hand it to the Brits.)

Meantime, I ran into Barry (Dame Edna) Humphries in Orso and he told me his divine wife, Liz, had been at the wedding and declared that it went off very well. "The Queen did announce the racing results, however, before she congratulated the happy couple."

Now Charles and Camilla are happily honeymooning at his late-grandmother's Scottish retreat, Birkhall, where the Queen Mother's impressive array of blue gardening coats still hang in the tartan-papered hall. Eleven grandfather clocks in the dining room still stop conversation when they all start chiming at once. Here the passages are lined with cartoons from Spy magazine and lots of pegs for hanging outdoors clothes. Charles has visited here all his life, fishing, stalking deer and climbing hills and Camilla has always loved Birkhall as well. It has been the setting for at least six royal honeymoons before theirs, and they've taken along Camilla's sister, Annabel Elliot, and her husband, Simon, who are two of their best friends. They are having a traditional "house party" honeymoon. As one person says, "Charles and Camilla are not 25-year-olds. Honeymoons don't have quite the same meaning."

If you stumble upon Charles and Camilla in Scotland, don't forget that there they are called the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay. The newlywed duke and duchess went to services Sunday at Crathie Church and they will open a children's playground in the little town of Ballater on Thursday.

Did you check that item? When I called David Geffen's office at DreamWorks only last week and asked if there was an actual movie of the famous Broadway musical, "Dreamgirls" in the works, the answer was a definite "No!" This despite the fact that when I checked online, I found stories that it was going to happen, directed by Bill Condon with a cast of mostly unknowns. But the answer was so emphatic, I accepted it. Movie deals fall through all the time. ("Dreamgirls" was the big Michael Bennett-directed hit of the 1980-81 season and tells the thinly veiled story of Diana Ross and the Supremes.)

After not printing my story because of Mr. Geffen's denial, on the front page of Variety, we are told Beyonce Knowles tested last week in New York for the role and is negotiating to star.

Bill Condon will direct and has already adapted the script for a fall date. The film will retain Tom Eyen's book and lyrics, as well as Henry Krieger's music.

And you wonder why columnists sometimes run unsubstantiated rumors!

"My good woman, that is a human rights violation!" So said Dr. Henry Kissinger to Jack Welch's assistant, Rosanne Badowski, at last week's big launch party for Welch, his wife Suzy, and their book, "Winning." Kissinger made this remark after Rosanne revealed that she has been Jack's assistant for 17 years.

The party was a great big success, packed with movers and shakers, shaking and moving, among them Sir Harry Evans, who was missing his wife, Tina Brown. (She was in London for the Charles/Camilla wedding.) Evans did point out that he and Welch had the "bloody good fortune" to marry gorgeous, much younger and smarter cookies in the second act of their lives. Umm ... it's this kind of talk that breeds The First Wives Club.

Welch's book is "winning" already. It went back to press for another edition after only one day on sale.

Tribune Media Services

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