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Bishop 'critical of royal wedding'

A leading bishop has reportedly made critical comments regarding the impending royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The Mail on Sunday claimed the Bishop of Willesden, Peter Broadbent, had posted comments on his Facebook page warning that the marriage may only last for seven years.

In other posts the avowed republican also reportedly referred to the royal family as "philanderers".

A post on the bishop's Twitter site, made on the same day as the royal wedding announcement, read: "Need to work out what date in the spring or summer I should be booking my republican day trip to France..."

His comments were condemned by Tory MP and friend of Prince Charles, Nicholas Soames, who told the paper: "They (the comments) are extremely rude, not what one expects from a bishop."

The bishop, a Labour Party member and formerly an Islington Councillor, was unavailable for comment.

But a Church of England spokesman said: "He's a bishop, he's an individual, he's got his own views."

A source close to the clergyman said: "The bishop had actually written he didn't think the marriage would last more than seven years because of harassment by the press, but I imagine the full quote was not printed."

A spokesman for Clarence House declined to comment on the bishop's postings.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: "It is extraordinary that a bishop of the Church of England should be a republican, given that Prince William - when he ascends the throne - will be his future boss."

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