ROYAL FORUM: King Charles or King William? Britons want Charles to step aside for William


ROYAL FORUM: King Charles or King William? Britons want Charles to step aside for William
by Darius Kadivar

King Charles or King William? Royal wedding bellshave reignited the debate over whether Prince Charles should step aside to lethis popular son, William, be king.

Many are pushing the idea as the nation buzzesover the announcement of William’s engagement to longtime girlfriend KateMiddleton. They argue that Charles’ standing suffered irreparable harm when hismarriage to Princess Diana fell apart and details of his affair with CamillaParker Bowles went public.

Others say he is, at 62, simply too old to startan effective reign after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, dies. It’s more thanan academic question: the queen is 84 years old, albeit in seemingly excellenthealth.

There’s little question who’d win a popularitycontest between the aging prince, who has alienated many Britons, and thecharismatic young man who reminds many of his late mother, Diana. And Camilla,whom Charles married eight years after Diana’s death, is not loved by thepublic, while William’s fiancée, Kate Middleton, is cresting in popularity.

So perhaps it’s surprising that polls suggestBritons prefer to leave the line of succession as it stands.

The Monarchy by David Starkey (Cambridge University):


“Why change the rules now?’’ said HenriettaJones, 64, a retiree. “William has to wait his turn just like everyone beforehim. I think Charles really does have what it takes to be king and I think hehonestly deserves it.’’

An October ComRes poll of 2,012 adults showssupport for changing the line of succession to favor William stands at about 25percent, with just under half in favor of leaving things as they stand, withthe rest saying they don’t know.

ComRes chairman Andrew Hawkins said the pollfound more support for Charles than he had anticipated. Despite having manyvocal critics, he said, there is a solid base of support for Charles thatincludes all age groups and all parts of the country.

“Prince Charles doesn’t have a huge number ofvocal supporters, but there is a sense among the public that he has earned theright to serve as king and that he deserves it,’’ Hawkins said. “He has hiscritics but they are not in the majority.’’

The support for leaving the established order inplace reflects a go-slow approach to change and modernization in Britain, wherereforms of traditional institutions like the House of Lords have proceededslowly. Centuries of tradition suggest Charles should be next on the throne andhis would-be subjects seem unwilling to challenge that despite his maritalmisadventures.

The public is less forgiving in its attitudetoward Camilla. She is still seen by some as the “other woman’’ in theill-fated Charles and Diana fairy tale. The ComRes poll indicates Britons wouldprefer Middleton become the next queen — an inherent contradiction with theirvote on who should be king.

“These views reflect that it was always going tobe impossible for anyone to follow in Diana’s footsteps, and Camilla has notplayed the same sort of public role that Princess Diana did. She’s been muchmore in the background,’’ said Hawkins, adding that older Britons are moresupportive of Camilla than younger people.

He said Middleton would be “extremely popular’’in the near future but will have a challenge meeting high expectations.

Constitutional experts like author Vernon Bogdanorpoint out that even if Charles were extremely unpopular there is no easy way toalter the line of succession, which is not designed to bend to public opinionor respond to the whims of tabloid newspaper editors.

Prince William and Catherine Middleton appear at a photocall:

He said altering the succession would underminethe principle of constitutional monarchy, which is based on the concept thatdetermining who ascends to the throne is not a matter of individual choice.

“It would raise theargument of who is best suited to be head of state, which having a constitutionalmonarchy avoids,’’ he said.

Related Blogs:

BELIEVING IN LOVE: Prince William to marry Kate Middleton

HISTORY FORUM: How Truly Democratic is The British Monarchy ?

What does it mean to be royal? Charlie Rose interviews Jeremy Paxman on the British Monarchy

Republican Outlooks on Royalty:

GALLOWAY's REPUBLIC: George Galloway on the Decline of the British Monarchy


RESTORATION: Prince Charles, The Meddling Prince (5 Parts)


Other Royal Forums:

ROYAL FORUM: Prince William and Harry - Prisoners of Celebrity

ROYAL FORUM: The Pain in the Reign in Spain


more from Darius Kadivar

The only folks who care about this are

by jasonrobardas on

Some retarded folks who are dazzled and mesmerized by the glamour of these worthless overly privilegded snobs .Readers of national inquirer .

  no offense to our D K


Prince Gorbachev

by comrade on



Advancing prince William to the throne is a desperate PR attempt to revive a defunct social machinery. In my opinion, prince Charles can be "the
king" capable of overhauling the British monarchy, which he calls "The
Firm". He deserves a bigger audience, bigger than his plants...

Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.



Does it even matter ?

by MRX1 on

I can't see how that is relevant to any thing, specialy relating to Iran per say. In the end, all it matters are the oponion of people in Brittain that's all. Ma na sar piazeem na tah piaz.


DK jan, enjoyed the David Starkey lecture

by kazem0574 on

Very interesting chap, bloke, fellow indeed (you know what I mean).

I liked the fact that if you'd asked him,  I bet he would also compare Komaini and Khamenei as kings in their own form of Monarchy, as I have always seen them to be.

Thanks for that.

Anahid Hojjati

Thanks Dariush jan, great blog

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dariush jan, I liked your blog. The discussion of how contrary to one might think, public opinion in England supports leaving the line of succession as it is, this discussion was interesting to me. Thanks for sharing.


DK jaan isn't that the truth! Sargord hill billy doesn't "care"!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred

Darius Kadivar

Well apparently You do ...

by Darius Kadivar on

Or is it merely your insecurity that makes you want to comment on each and every blog I post ? 

Do yourself a favor and ignore David Starkey's Cambridge Lessons  ... 

Here is a far more adequate course adapted to your amazing academic credentials and interests :

COLUMBIA PRESENTS: Academic Excellence With Hamid Dabashi & Sadri Bros 

Sargord Pirouz

And who really cares? Glad

by Sargord Pirouz on

And who really cares? Glad we don't have these parasites in the USA or Iran.