Britons want William for next king, not Charles: polls

21st November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britons want Prince William and his new fiancee Kate Middleton to be Britain's next king and queen, instead of the current heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, polls showed Sunday.

The surveys come just a day after Charles said that Camilla could become queen one day, reopening a sensitive debate over the role of the woman he married eight years after the death of his ex-wife Princess Diana.

The News of the World newspaper published an ICM survey of 2,015 people showing that 55 percent would like William to bypass his father Charles and ascend directly to the throne when Queen Elizabeth II dies.

The survey also found that 64 percent believed William and Kate would be better for the long-term prospects of the monarchy, against Charles and Camilla on just 19 percent.

A separate OnePoll survey for the People newspaper of 2,000 respondents found that 49 percent of people wanted William and his bride-to-be on the throne, while only 16 percent opted for Charles and Camilla.

William and Kate, both 28, announced on Tuesday that they will marry in London in spring or summer next year. The date and venue have not been finalised but there is speculation they may emerge in the coming week.

On Saturday, a Harris poll for the Daily Mail newpaper showed 48 percent of people said Charles should be prepared to step aside to let his eldest son with the late Diana become the next monarch. It surveyed 1,008 people.

In Britain's largely symbolic monarchy the succession passes through the eldest male heir where possible.

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."

© 2010 AFP

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