As His Popularity Wanes Away, Could Prince Charles Be the Last King?
Prince Charles is getting killed in the court of public opinion. Few people approve of him, even fewer like his wife Camilla. Yet rather than step aside, he seeks power sooner.
The author, Emily Andrews, The Sun’s well-briefed royal correspondent has a reputation as something of a Republican, but there is no denying the fact that the ever-closer reality of King Charles III remains deeply troubling to the British people.
Just this weekend Charles was forced to effectively give up any intentions of taking over his mother’s job before her death. A front page story in The Sunday Times, stuffed with quotes from the queen’s courtiers, shot down notions which often seem to emerge from Charles’ supporters that the reins of power should be transferred to his care sooner rather than later.
Charles people made no attempt to counter the story; a wise move.
However, they also took the opportunity to reinforce the message that Charles would not be stepping aside in favor of his eldest son, William.
Charles defiant insistence on claiming his destiny comes despite a slew of opinion polls showing terrible approval ratings for Prince Charles, as the annual wave of Diana-related stories to mark the anniversary of her death on Aug. 31, 1997, has been given added impetus by 2017 being the 20th anniversary of her demise.
Among the most damaging revelations is Diana’s videotaped declaration, recently screened on television for the first time, that Charles told her: “I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales never to have a mistress.”
Now a new poll carried out by YouGov for the Press Association has found that only a third of Britons believe the Prince of Wales has been “beneficial” for the royal family—half the number who believed the same thing four years ago.
And the rehabilitation of Camilla has gone into a major reverse. Just 14 percent of those surveyed said they want to see Charles’ wife Camilla as queen when be becomes king.
The disgust many feel at Charles marrying the “third person” in his marriage with Diana is evident in the fact that a third of respondents said she should have no title at all.
Aside from the queen and Prince Philip, William is regarded as having made the best contribution to the royal family with a 78 percent approval.
This is followed by Harry on 77 percent, Kate with 73 percent, Charles on 36 percent, and Camilla on just 18 percent. Thirty-seven percent felt she had a negative impact on the monarchy—including 18 percent who regarded her as very negative.
Prince Harry, who left the army to pursue his charitable causes, has increased his overall positive rating, which was up 5 percentage points since 2013. William dropped by 7 points and Kate by 6.
The results of this new survey chime with a poll by The Daily Express which found that just 20 percent believed Camilla should be queen.
Prince Charles’ officials have always publicly maintained that Camilla will be known as “princess consort” however, as The Daily Beast exclusively revealed this year Charles is secretly planning to unilaterally declare Camilla “queen” upon accession to the throne.
In the Prospect article one of Andrew’s sources is quoted as saying: “Charles’s accession could be the greatest threat to the British monarchy since the abdication. There’s a great danger he will make it all about him. He needs to play it very carefully. He’s capable of getting it right, but also of getting it drastically wrong.”
The signs today are that Charles has an even poorer hand to play than many suspected.
The best thing he could do for the institution of the British monarchy would be to stand outside, to concede that the disastrous mess he has made of his own life and the very public way his malfeasance has been revealed disqualifies him from the role of spiritual and symbolic leader the nation.
But Charles has always made it very clear he will not do that, and hence his arrogant procession toward the moment of greatest danger rushes on.