Prince Charles less popular than Prince William claims expert
Charles has been training to one day ascend the throne ever since he became the heir apparent, at the age of just three. The Prince of Wales has carried the heavy weight of this responsibility throughout his adult life but even now, at 72, he is still unpopular with the public. A devastating YouGov poll from December showed a majority of voters would prefer second-in-line Prince William to succeed the Queen, rather than his father.
It’s thought that this recent dip in public support is down to the Netflix drama The Crown, which retold the tale of Charles’ disastrous marriage to the beloved ‘People’s Princess’, Diana.
Yet, royal author Clive Irving pinpointed another flaw with the Prince of Wales’ approach to the public.
He claimed that the Prince of Wales has a “serious problem”, in that he does not embody an “invigorating generational shift” — unlike his son William.
Mr Irving suggested: “In some way Charles looks older than the Queen — he’s a man more suited to the 18th Century than the 21st.”
Mr Irving even alleged that Charles had chosen to look more “like a younger brother of the Queen rather than a son”.
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The Queen is 94, and holds the record for the longest reign in British history, but has shown her ability to keep up with the changing times by adapting the monarchy over the years.
She took on virtual engagements with ease last year due to the pandemic, and is always quick to interpret the public mood, as seen in her rapid responses to the Sussexes’ royal departure and Prince Andrew’s early retirement.
The Prince of Wales, on the other hand, has often been content to go against the tide in both his personal and public life.
He championed environmentalism activism years before it became a mainstream topic, and surprised royal watchers when he married his one-time mistress Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Charles has also had a sophisticated cultural taste ever since his youth.
He preferred the opera to pop music from a young age, and recently had an interview with Vogue where he confirmed he still wears much of the same suits he first purchased decades ago.
As Pod Save the Queen host Ann Gripper noted: “Prince Charles does have a reputation of being kind of stuffy and unemotional.”
Aside from how he presents himself, Charles has divided the public through his attitude towards politics.
Mr Irving told Vanity Fair that the Queen has done well to never reveal her real political leanings.
But, he claimed: “I think we know far more than we would ever really want to know about Charles, right?”
The Prince of Wales has been famously outspoken about his beliefs, and his handwritten letters which attempted to lobby ministers — famously known as the ‘black spider memos’ — were widely criticised for interfering in politics.
His campaigning zeal for the environment and greener public policies have been criticised for being in direct contrast to his extravagant personal lifestyle, where he uses private jets and has multiple estates across the UK.
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However, he has addressed fears that he could be a “meddling monarch” by continuing to campaign as King, and noted: “I’m not that stupid.”
In an interview to celebrate his 70th birthday, he said: “I’ve tried to make sure whatever I’ve done has been non-party political.
“But I think it’s vital to remember there’s only room for one sovereign at a time, not two, so you can’t be the same as the sovereign if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir.
“But the idea somehow that I’m going to go on in exactly the same way if I have to succeed is complete nonsense, because the two, the two situations are completely different.”
Even so, Mr Irving alleged: “I think there’s a really real risk that if Charles does succeed her that the monarchy will go over a cliff very fast.
“This question of the survival of the monarchy hasn’t really arisen since the time of [Edward VIII’s] abdication, but it will come up as a real smack in the face.
“She’s enjoyed such a command of the role that the whole idea of abolition or republicanism has been beyond reality.”
Many have speculated that Charles’ reign could see the resurgence of republican sentiments in Australia.
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