The announcement of the marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton has uplifted the British people’s hopes that Prince Charles’ eldest son, a very popular young man, will be the next future king.
According to three polls published this weekend, the majority of Britons think William, 28, would make a better king than his father Charles, 62, first in order of succession.
55% of Britons want to see William become king against 35% in favor of Charles, according to a poll from News of the World. And 56% believe that William would make a better ruler than Charles (15%), according to another survey published in The Times.
”Whether Charles likes it or not this week’s events have resurrected, in the most pointed manner yet, the vexed question of his own future. Asked recently whether he expected to succeed to the throne, he responded in a tone of intense irritation: ‘Well, I would certainly think so,’” stressed the Saturday issue of the Daily Mail.
While Queen Elizabeth, 84, could perfectly match her mother’s longevity (Queen Mum died in 2002 when she was 101 years old), newspapers questioned the prospect of Prince Charles’ accession to the throne at … nearly 80 years.
Constitutionally, for William to come to the throne before his father, Charles should abdicate in his favor. Such actions have taken place in the past: the ruthless King Edward VIII who abdicated to marry divorcée Wallis Simpson, or the late Count of Barcelona who stood down from succession for his son, King Juan Carlos I of Spain
As the Daily Mail puts it, ”Duty might consist of sacrificing his [Charles’] own ego, standing down from the succession and allowing the crown to pass to a younger and safer pair of hands.”
The unhappy marriage with Diana, the divorce, the revelations about the “marriage of three” with Camilla Parker Bowles, and the second marriage after Diana’s death did little to enhance the image of Charles.
His commitments, the defense of classical architecture, the environment are regularly mocked by the popular press as puppets, and generally, the prince “talks far too much, on far too many subjects, most of which do not even remotely concern him,” the Daily Mail remarks.
Not to mention the future status of Camilla if Charles ever accedes to the throne. A statement made by Charles this year in August on an American television show that was broadcast this week has brought up again the status of his present wife: queen of England, or simply “princess consort”?
“That’s, well … We’ll see, won’t we? That could be,” Charles replied to NBC’s Brian Williams, when asked if Camilla would soon become queen.
“It’s too early to talk about these things” ruled Prime Minister David Cameron on Sky TV on Sunday, while admitting he is “a big royal fan” and “a big Camilla fan”.