Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Sport of Royal Watchers

A recent Angus Reid survey revealed that 42% of Britons would prefer Prince William to succeed Queen Elizabeth II. While 36% prefer Prince Charles to succeed.

This question, usually raised during significant birthday's (such as the Queen's 80th), significant deaths (Diana), or just because, is no more than a harmless pastime for people. Especially those who do not seem to understand how the succession to the British throne works. For those who should know (such as professional royal watchers), they either genuinely don't know or choose to ignore it because it's newsworthy to discuss this non-issue.

So, let me state categorically, for the record, that barring any tragedy (i.e. should Prince Charles succumb to an unfortunate skiing, polo, gardening, or watercolor painting accident), he will succeed the Queen as the next King. No Angus Reid poll, heated message board discussions, or your personal opinion on the matter will change that. You can quote me on it and even tell people that you heard it here first. I don't mind at all.

Now, admittedly, there isn't much of a difference between the two percentages. The remaining shares are made up of people who either don't mind (15%) or don't care (7%). One would think that the amount of people who don't mind or don't care, should be significantly larger than this. After all, whether one or the other or neither suceed has no bearing on our lives. Prince William would look better on the coins and stamps, but in all honesty, that's really about the only advantage.

Should Prince William by-pass Charles, we wouldn't have to deal with questions regarding Camilla's title, Charles' suitability, and potentially the length of Charles' reign should the Queen live as long as her mother did (Note: The Queen Mother died at the age of 101). All those interesting questions would be replaced by what William and his consort will wear, maybe even whether William, depending on how young he is, is up to the job himself.

Commentators will discuss duty and the sacrifice William will make, as they did when his grandmother came to the throne at the age of 25. The beautiful princess, not yet married five years, with two small children, prematurely burdened by the weight of office. Yet, for all of this discussion, and after a long line of aged King's, people no doubt welcomed having a young and glamourous sovereign.

Maybe these redundant polls are a sign of people's focus on appearances and desire for some glamour. Prince William, bursting with vitality and his mother's looks, trumps Prince Charles regardless of his age. And unlike an elderly King, a young and handsome sovereign with a beautiful consort sells more souvenirs.

Regardless of the facts, people will still play this game. And like it or not, the answer will remain the same. So, upon the death of the Queen, long live the King.

Whoever that happens to be.

© Marilyn Braun 2007


Andrea Allison said...

I know that it is just a matter of opinion, but I think I would prefer Prince William over Prince Charles too. Yeah, there is a possibility that it could happen that way. Just going to have to wait and see what happens.

Marilyn Braun said...

A lot of people hold that view. I don't know whether it's based on Prince Charles' behavior during his marriage to Diana or whatnot, but that's in the past. While I'm no great fan of Prince Charles, he's been trained/waited for this job since he was four years old.

And despite having no real constitutional pre-defined role, he's accomplished a great deal (i.e. The Prince's Trust). Prince William, in his short 25 year old life, has done nothing more than look good.

Anonymous said...

William at 25 has no training yet,he seems to be kept back by Charles and his court,so he wont be more popular or appear more ready.In Europe,all European families are promoting the Young Royals in every charity,in every place in every function.They are also far more educated and prepared than William.I think Williams potential has been heavily waisted,cause Charles is heavily afraid his son will by pass him.So he has held him back,and now as a result,i think many Royalists will start ask,how ready William is to be a member with full duties and commitment to Royal life.He seems at 25,uncomfortable with his role and in denial,while his patronages has been mostly laughable,and recently he is going from gaffe to gaffe.If Diana was alive,i think things would have been different.i think she would have trained William better and would have encouraged a close relation with the Queen,from whom William could learn alot.Williams major influence seems to be his fathers country leisure lifestyle and that has make him looking very bad.No one now think he has his mothers character(Harry seems much more nice and openhearted)and he is heavily losing her looks too,so i expect if nothing changes,public support will move towards Harry,if it hasnt already,who seems to emerge so much more focused and determined on what he wants to do concerning charities and army life.William is a ditherer/Imagine Harry coming back as a hero from Iraq,while William spending his summer playing polo,vacationing and spending a few days at barracks.

Unknown said...

Very interesting posts. Even overseas in the US, many would rather see Prince William succeed Queen Elizabeth.

Anonymous said...

Not that any of opinions matter, since of course Charles will succeed (assuming he's alive at the time), but personally, I want to see him as King. I don't believe William has been "held back" by his father. After all, what young man would WANT to spend all his time at charity events? Give the poor boy a chance to live out of the spotlight as much as possible.

Charles will be a good king. He's had lots of training, and he's learned from his mistakes. What more can you ask of a man?


Anonymous said...

He surely learned from his mistakes.Keep on medling and keep on causing troubles.He learned by his mistakes by marrying them.
William will be 25 ,sorry but time to grow up.I agree he cant spend all his life doing charities,but he can clearly spend his life partying and vacationing as he has shown all these years.Waisted potential,and a rather fabricated public image,that is failing very quicly.

Marilyn Braun said...

Personally I think William is too young and inexperienced to become King at the moment - or in the next few years. I don't know what would be the perfect age to become King - his grandmother was 25 and Queen Victoria was 18 when they suceeded, so by these examples, youth isn't entirely a negative thing.

Yes, William should enjoy his time out of the spotlight, he'll spend the rest of his life in the unforgiving glare of it. But I think that, given his recent press, he needs to be careful not to be seen as a partying prince who goes around groping women. He needs to get to work because he can't coast on Diana's legacy forever.