Britain favours Prince William over his father Charles as its next monarch, with widespread approval for William’s girlfriend boosting his ratings, a poll shows. More than half of 1,000 people polled said they would prefer the second-in-line to be the next to take the throne.
Prince William’s popularity is greatest among the younger generation, with 70 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds favouring him as the next king, compared to just 47 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds.
The groundswell of support appears to have been helped by his rekindled romance with commoner Kate Middleton. Only 18 percent of those surveyed think she would not make a good addition to the royal family.
The nation is, however, split on whether Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall makes the grade, according to the survey for the Discovery Channel. Just 42 percent regard Camilla as a good ambassador for the royal family. Although a third feel more warmly towards her since her marriage to Prince Charles, 68 percent said they preferred William’s late mother Princess Diana.
Former royal correspondent Jennie Bond said: “Prince Charles does seem to have a real image problem. Even though he is undoubtedly the best-trained heir to the throne we’ve ever had, the public seem reluctant to accept him as king. The damage to his image caused by the break-down of his marriage to Diana seems irreparable. I think it’s sad; we should be more forgiving as a nation and accept that Charles is a far wiser head on more experienced shoulders than a boy of 25 who still has much to learn and do.”
Overall, three-quarters of Britons said they were in favour of retaining the monarchy, but the same percentage question whether it delivers value for money and want it to use less of taxpayers’ money.