More people want Prince William to be next monarch than Prince Charles, poll shows

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Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·5 min read
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VIMY, FRANCE - APRIL 09: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry visit the tunnel and trenches at Vimy Memorial Park during the commemorations for the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017 in Vimy, France. The Battle Of Vimy Ridge was fought during WW1 as part of the initial phase of the Battle of Arras. Although British-led, it was mostly fought by the Canadian Corps. A centenary commemorative service will be held at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France attended by the Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry and representatives of the Canadian Government. (Photo by Tim Rooke - Pool/Getty Images)
Charles and William, with Harry, at the commemorations for the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 2017 in France. (Tim Rooke – Pool/Getty Images)

More people want Prince William to be the next monarch than Prince Charles, a new poll has shown.

Prince William was favourite with 47% of people to be king ahead of his father when the Queen dies, according to statistics from Deltapoll.

Charles, 72, who will become king when his mother dies, was only chosen by 27% of respondents as their preferred option for monarch. 

Deltapoll asked 1,590 British adults who they would prefer between Charles and William as monarch when the Queen dies, but they also gave the option of no monarch at all.

Nearly a fifth of respondents, 18%, said they did not want a monarchy in Britain. 

When people were offered a wider choice of royals to replace the Queen as monarch, William, 38, still came out on top, with 41%.

Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Britain - June 18, 2019   Britain's Prince William and Prince Charles arrive at Ascot   REUTERS/Toby Melville
Prince William and Prince Charles at Ascot in June 2019. (Reuters/Toby Melville)

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He beat his father Charles into second place, whose support dropped to 22%.

Prince Harry was favourite to be the next king with 8% of people, despite the fallout from his interview with Oprah Winfrey – and nearly a quarter (24%) of 18- to 24-year-olds wanted to see him crowned.

Princess Anne was the preferred option by 5% of people, Prince Andrew by 2% of people and Prince Edward by 1%.

With all those options, 14% of people still said they would prefer no monarchy at all. 

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Deltapoll co-founder Joe Twyman said: "Deltapoll’s latest results should strike fear into the heart of the Royal Family. Prince Charles is set to inherit the throne, but it is Prince William who is the far more popular option among the British people and among younger respondents it is Prince Harry who comes out on top. 

"That is a potential public opinion problem facing the palace that may not be easy to solve."

Graham Smith, chief executive officer of Republic, said the lack of support for Charles could be a crisis for the monarchy.

He told Yahoo UK: "Public opinion is deeply divided on the future of the monarchy, and it’s clear people want a choice when it comes to who our next head of state is. But we won’t get a choice, we’ll be told it’s Charles and that’s that. 

"Charles will be a king with just a quarter of the population on his side and little of the affection or respect enjoyed by his mother. This is a recipe for a serious crisis for the monarchy. 

"King Charles and the growing republican movement are likely to push public support for abolition of the monarchy well over 50% over the next two decades."

This latest poll follows one for by Redfield and Wilton for The Times Redbox in March that showed that 51% of people wanted the crown to pass straight to Prince William.

About a third, 31%, supported Charles becoming king, as will happen when the Queen dies.

Most people preferred the idea that the Queen should stay in her position until she dies, rather than abdicate, with 41% wanting to see her stay where she is regardless.

But a fifth of people (21%) said she should abdicate, even if she is in good health, while more than a quarter (27%) thought she should abdicate if her health declines. 

TOPSHOT - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (centre L) waves to guests as her son Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and grandson Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) react as she takes her seat ni the Royal box during The Queen's Birthday Party concert on the occassion of Her Majesty's 92nd birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in London on April 21, 2018. (Photo by Andrew Parsons / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW PARSONS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
About 40% of people want the Queen to remain on the throne until she dies. Here at a celebration for her 92nd birthday. (Andrew Parsons/AFP)

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The polling by Deltapoll, which was conducted online between 31 March and 1 April, has largely followed similar polling by other companies in terms of reaction to Harry and Meghan's interview with Winfrey.

Respondents were asked if they thought the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had improved or damaged the reputation of the Royal Family, with 51% of people saying it had been damaged.

They were also asked if they supported or opposed stripping the couple of their royal titles, with 58% of people supporting such a move.

A poll in the US after the couple's interview showed Harry had a net favourability ranking of 28, while Meghan had a score of 15, both having lost points compared with before the interview.

In September 2020, a poll in the UK showed that nearly half of people wanted Harry and Meghan to be stripped of their royal titles.

It's incredibly unlikely the Queen would ever remove their titles, which were a wedding gift.

Harry and Meghan have already stopped using the HRH stylings, meaning they are never referred to as His or Her Royal Highness before their duke or duchess title.

There are no plans in place for the crown to bypass Charles, who is the longest serving heir to the throne. Charles was created the Prince of Wales in 1958 and invested formally in the role in 1969 while a student.

The Queen is also unlikely to abdicate, having pledged when she was younger to serve the Commonwealth and the country for her whole life "be it long or short". 

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