The UK’s King Charles III is facing calls to abdicate and pass the Crown to his son, Prince William. The 75-year-old Monarch has long been considered less popular than his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Before her death, there were suggestions that the Crown should skip a generation to Prince William, who is also perceived more positively among the British population.
Among those discussing abdication is the pro-Royal British newspaper, the Daily Mail. In a report on the abdication of Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, who stood down in January and handed the Danish Crown to her son, the Daily Mail wondered if Charles may do likewise. Royal biographer Phil Dampier, quoted in the Daily Mail piece, said, “It must make you wonder if in five or ten years’ time King Charles might think about doing the same.”
The left-wing Guardian newspaper ran an article with the headline, “King Charles should follow Denmark’s example—and tell us when he’ll abdicate,” while former Labour Member of Parliament Stephen Pound tweeted, “I think it would be a wonderful thing. He would save the monarchy.”
As repeated polls confirm, Prince William and his wife, the Princess of Wales, are more popular than the current King. In a YouGov survey last September, William won the approval of 74% of the British public, while his wife Kate was admired by 72%. By contrast, Charles polled as merely the seventh most popular royal, behind Prince William, Princess Kate, and his sister Princess Anne.
The reasons for the King’s lack of popularity are frequently discussed, and analysts largely agree that the public considers him too political – the Monarch is expected to maintain political neutrality – and that his past behaviors, such as his infidelity when married to Princess Diana, still cast a dark cloud over him.
Pro-monarchy voices in Britain, however, warn against abdication, saying it will encourage pro-republic campaigners, particularly as the nation spent more than $100 million on Charles’ Coronation just last year.