Birthday boy! Prince William at 40 – is it time to skip a generation in our royal succession? Bedford News

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, has become a man of the people (Photo: Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, has become a man of the people (Photo: Getty Images)

A waiting king

The milestone anniversary is marked by a £5 portrait, the first time the Duke of Cambridge has appeared alone on the Royal Mint coin, but what does the future hold?

The occasion of Prince William’s fortieth birthday coincides with an era of uncertainty and change for the monarchy.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, has become a man of the people (Photo: Getty Images)

Steve Cain examines why some believe it would be better for the line of succession to the throne to skip a generation.

The birth of Prince William Arthur Philip Louis at 9:30 p.m. on June 21, 1982 was announced by a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park and the Tower of London, ordered by the Queen.

As the son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the little boy immediately became second in line to the throne.


The Windsor dynasty seemed safe.

As William, Duke of Cambridge celebrates his 40th birthday this month, he is the second most popular member of the Royal Family after the Queen with an approval rating of 66%.

His wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge ranks third with 65%.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are the second and third favorite royals (Picture: Getty Images)

Without a doubt, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have catapulted the royal family into the 21st century with their new perspective and elegant accessibility, which has been interspersed with enough royal formality to maintain the idealized mystery of the crown.

It is certain that the couple contributed to the popularity of the royal family, with 62% of the public supporting the maintenance of the monarchy.

However, the popularity of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge contrasts sharply with that of William’s father and stepmother, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Charles’ approval rating hovers at 45% while Camilla garners just 34% in the same YouGov poll.

Indeed, a Deltapoll survey found that 47% of Britons would prefer the crown to skip Prince Charles and go straight to Prince William at the end of the Queen’s reign.

So what’s behind Charles’ poor rating in the polls?

And what would be the benefits of opting out in favor of William?

Charles’ marital conflict

For most of the past quarter century, Charles has desperately tried to recover from the damage to his reputation caused by his troubled marriage to Princess Diana.

In 1991, when the couple were still trying to maintain the facade of a happy marriage, 82% of the public believed Charles would make a good king.

However, over a five-year period – during which both parties admitted to adultery, legally separated and then divorced – that figure halved to just 41%.

Diana’s death in 1997 caused further significant damage to Charles’ image.

Although many have come to accept his marriage to his former mistress, Camilla, Diana’s shadow, and the mistreatment he perceived towards her, continues to weigh on him.

William, on the other hand, has a happy and successful marriage to Kate and, together with their three children, they present exactly the right kind of image – a couple who take pleasure in each other’s successes and instinctively work as a team, while raising three of the children able to find happiness and contentment serving in an institution greater than themselves.

Avoiding the “Queen Camilla” controversy

In a message marking the seventieth anniversary of her reign, the Queen said: ‘When in time my son Charles becomes King, I sincerely wish Camilla to be known as Queen Consort.’

Despite the overwhelming affection for the monarch, according to a YouGov poll, only 14% of the public backed the Queen’s decision, suggesting that many still remember Camilla as Charles’ mistress and ‘third person’ of his marriage to Diana.

The same poll found that 41% would prefer Camilla to take the title of princess consort, while 26% said she should have no additional titles.

If William were to skip Charles on the throne, all the controversy surrounding this matter would be completely avoided.

Will Prince Charles allow Prince William to succeed to the throne unopposed? (photo: Getty Images)

Retaining its relevance in modern Britain

While there is no doubt that the Queen enjoys the affection, loyalty and respect of the vast majority of her subjects, it cannot be ignored that the 96-year-old monarch has significantly reduced her duties due to “problems of episodic mobility”. .”

Thus, we are experiencing a form of unofficial “soft regency” with Prince Charles taking on a greater workload.

However, the prince himself is now 73 and when the time comes he will be the oldest person to inherit the throne (the current record holder being William IV, who was 64 when he became king in 1830).

Many believe that the passing of the crown from one elderly monarch (the Queen) to another (Charles) makes the institution archaic and out of touch with modern times. For the monarchy to survive, it is essential that it retains its relevance and the support of younger generations, and having a younger monarch on the throne could be important in achieving this.

made to be king

At forty years old, William is a good man in his skin, who knows his own thoughts and leads a happy and sedentary family life. Indeed, he has “the stature and confidence of a king in waiting”, according to Dickie Arbiter, a former press secretary to the Queen.

Charles reportedly called the role of monarch “such a difficult task” and revealed that William had been “part of the conversation” about succession since he was eleven or twelve.

Prince William in 2005, when he already knew what fate might have in store for him (photo: Getty Images)

Some royal commentators believe that although under common law Prince Charles automatically becomes king upon the Queen’s death, he could abdicate and pass the crown directly to William.

This would require legislation, as happened when Edward VIII abdicated in 1936. The line of succession is regulated by parliament and cannot be changed by the then monarch.

Others say they fully expect to see Charles take the throne. Richard Fitzwilliams believes that “over the next 20 years or so he will age into something of a beloved and iconic grandfather figure to the nation”, similar to his father, the late Prince Philip.

Whatever happens, it’s important to recognize that it’s Charles’ birthright to become king, and so far he’s spent 70 years as heir apparent.

When the time comes, it is up to him to decide whether or not he chooses to take on this role.

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This notice was published: 2022-06-20 16:35:51

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