The Times of London, citing a document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reports the government advice was given at the time of the Prince of Wales' divorce from Princess Diana in 1996. The heir to the British throne is now married to Camilla Parker Bowles.
The report said the government's advice contradicts the opinion of the Lord Chancellor to Parliament once Charles announced his engagement last year. But lawyers and constitutional experts say government ministers are trying to create doubt in the validity of his marriage at Windsor Guildhall in April 2005 and his succession to the throne, the report said.
Charles Mosley, editor in chief of Delbert's, was quoted by the Times as saying, "This could be the trigger that brings about the passing of the throne to William. We have to know whether our king is legally married or not."
Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales, told the Times the marriage is legal and valid and that it "has no bearing on the succession to the throne."