Britons want William for next king

November 21, 2010 12:00 am

, LONDON, Nov 21 – Britons want Prince William and his new fiancee Kate Middleton to be their next king and queen, instead of the current heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, three polls showed Sunday.

The revealing surveys come on the back of a wave of public support for the eldest son of Charles and his late ex-wife Princess Diana eldest son after William announced that he and Kate would marry next year.

The News of the World newspaper published an ICM survey showing that 55 percent would like William, 28, to bypass his father Charles, 62, and ascend directly to the throne when Queen Elizabeth II dies.

The poll of 2,015 people also found that 64 percent believed the younger prince and his bride-to-be would be better for the long-term prospects of the monarchy, against Charles and Camilla on just 19 percent.

The paper carried a mocked-up photo of William and Kate wearing crowns and sitting on thrones.

In a separate Sunday Times-You Gov poll, 44 percent said Charles should make way for William to be king while 37 percent said he should not. Fifty-six percent thought William would be a better monarch against 15 percent for Charles. It surveyed 1,967 people.

A OnePoll survey for the People newspaper of 2,000 respondents meanwhile found that 49 percent of people wanted William and Kate on the throne, while only 16 percent opted for Charles and Camilla.

On Saturday a Harris poll for the Daily Mail newpaper showed similar results, with 48 percent of people saying Charles should be prepared to step aside in favour of his eldest son with Diana. It questioned 1,008 people.

The polls show that Britain may also still not be ready for Charles\’s comments in a television interview shown Friday in which he said for the first time that Camilla, whom he married in 2005, could become queen one day.

William and Kate stunned Britain with the sudden announcement on Tuesday that they were engaged and would tie the knot in London in spring or summer next year.

The exact date and venue have not been finalised but there is speculation they may emerge in the coming week. Several newspapers said the couple favoured a wedding in the last week of April but palace officials wanted it later.

William also said that he had given Kate his mother\’s enagement ring because it was "special" to him.

Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, unleashing a tide of public mourning, and she retains a popularity in death which has largely been passed on to her sons William and Harry.

In Britain\’s largely symbolic monarchy, the succession passes through the eldest male heir where possible, which is Charles.

Queen Elizabeth II, aged 84, is the world\’s second longest reigning living monarch after Thailand\’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In an interview with US network NBC filmed in August but broadcast on Friday, Charles, 62, said he preferred not to think about becoming king as it would mean his mother would have to die first.

But when asked if Camilla would become queen if and when he accedes the throne, Charles, whose official title is the Prince of Wales, said: "Well, we\’ll see won\’t we? But, that could be."


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