Clarence House let it be known that when the two take their vows, she will not assume Diana's former title, the Princess of Wales. And the statement made it clear that Parker Bowles will not become queen if Charles succeeds to the throne.
Her title at marriage will be Camilla, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall.
If Charles ascends to be king, she will be the Princess Consort, a title that has no known precedent and no known meaning, for that matter, other than signifying its holder is not the queen.
Should Charles become king and die or abdicate, Prince William would take over his father's post as leader of the monarchy, not Parker Bowles.
"I think it was smart not to make her queen because a lot of people wouldn't accept her that way," said Sian Hope, 45, a professor at the University of Wales, where Charles is chancellor in an honorary capacity.
"People will say what they want about the wedding but I'm not shocked or particularly concerned one way or the other," she said. "I think he has just as much right to be as happy as anybody else on this earth."
Charles has not had as smooth a ride in life as most multimillionaires who have never held a job.
The national press, rarely overly reverent toward the royals, at times has ridiculed him brutally for everything from his king-sized ears to whether his troubles with Diana stemmed from the fact that she was not a man.
In 2003, with rumors about his sexual preferences making the rounds, he was put in the unprincely position of publicly announcing that he was not bisexual.
He has worked hard, though, to win approval from the masses, with some success.
In 1997, a Mori Poll showed only 28 percent thought he should be king if he married Parker Bowles. By 2001, 64 percent said he could both marry his love and take over the monarchy, though less than one-third of Britons said she should become queen.
With no real proof, the press here has long reported that Queen Elizabeth had been opposed to Charles wedding Parker Bowles, but within minutes of Clarence House announcing the engagement yesterday, she issued a statement of approval.
She said she and Charles' father, Prince Philip, were "very happy about the marriage."
Prime Minister Tony Blair released a taped message of congratulations, and leaders of the two main opposition parties, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, sent warm wishes.
In some ways - if the enormous wealth, royal titles and posh accents were taken away - events in Charles' recent years would have made his family candidates for a tawdry soap opera.
There was the fairy-tale wedding with Diana, followed closely by public allegations of his love triangle and infidelity, followed by his former wife going public with the infidelity charges, followed by her death under circumstances that still consume the time of conspiracy theorists.
Since Diana's death, Charles has had to deal publicly with the unruly behavior of their second son, Harry, who attracted attention by wearing a Nazi uniform to a party last month, making headlines worldwide.
And Charles had to admonish Prince William, his elder son, for either not having thought to have a word with his younger brother about the Nazi outfit or being unable to muster a persuasive argument that the costume was setting the stage for a scandal.
"We are both very happy for our father and Camilla, and we wish them all the luck in the future," the princes said in a statement.
And Charles, unsurprisingly, pronounced himself happy as well in his own statement.
"Mrs. Parker Bowles and I are absolutely delighted," he said. "It will be a very special day for us and our families."
Lord St. John, the historian, said he had no doubts that Diana would continue to be a factor throughout Charles' life.
She had once revealed in a television interview here that Charles' affair had made her physically ill. "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," she said.
"Nobody is saying that this new marriage will erase any of the pain from the past," said Lord St. John. "I do think, however, that people will be happy and accept that the prince can now live more in the present, openly, with a woman he greatly loves."