The monarchy has the support of the British public, and more people want Prince Charles to take the throne after Queen Elizabeth II than think the honour should pass to Prince William, our poll for Prospect reveals.
- 65% think Queen Elizabeth II should stay on as monarch despite her old age (she is 85 this April)
- 45% want Prince Charles to reign as monarch after Queen Elizabeth II
- 37% think Prince William should pass over his father and reign next instead
- Only 13% would rather see the monarchy abolished entirely after Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is over
- 61% think that the British monarch should continue to be head of state of a number of Commonwealth countries; 26% would have the monarch as head of the UK alone
- And 56% feel that the law which makes the British monarch head of the Church of England should remain, while 30% disagree
Despite such support, however, the majority of the public supports changes in laws regarding succession and marriage.
- 75% believe that, contrary to existing laws, the eldest child of the monarch should be heir to the throne regardless of gender; only 17% think the current law should remain
- 71% would like to see a law which bans the monarch from marrying a Catholic to be revoked; 16% think the law should stay
Charles’s changing fortunes
Prince Charles is the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II and, as such, is next in line for the succession. Public approval for him to become monarch fell in 2005 after he married divorcée, Camilla Parker Bowles, when only 37% wanted him to become the next monarch, lagging behind his first son, Prince William, who 41% of people supported.
However, Prince Charles’s fortunes now seem to have reversed and even Prince William’s much-publicised upcoming marriage to Kate Middleton doesn’t look to have translated into public feeling that he should take the crown ahead of his father.