Two-Thirds of Canadians Polled Don’t Want Prince Charles to Be King

If some people had their way, the next king of England wouldn't be the man who's been in line for this job for decades.

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Prince Charles carrying an umbrella
Photo: Bart Lenoir /

A prince of the people?

Prince Charles is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, but he hasn’t enjoyed great popularity with the public since more private details about his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales became public knowledge. An Angus Reid poll from April 2022 found two-thirds (67%) of Canadians opposed to the idea of Charles succeeding his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as monarch. An  earlier U.K. poll showed that the popularity of the man who is next in line to the throne is decreasing, while an Express poll revealed that people would prefer that other royals ascend to the throne. Harsh, we know, but it’s not completely without cause. These are the reasons why many people throughout Canada and the United Kingdom aren’t excited by the idea of Prince Charles becoming their new king.

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Prince William and Kate - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Photo: Bart Lenoir /

They favour William and Kate

Prince William, Duchess Kate, and their three children are adored throughout the Commonwealth. In fact, a survey by BMG Research reveals that nearly half of the British public wants Prince Charles to step aside and give the throne to his oldest son when Queen Elizabeth II passes away. William and Kate have now been married for more than a decade. The Atlantic calls them a “fairy tale,” with their picture-perfect family and their distinct lack of scandals.

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Princess Diana in green car
Photo: Mark Reinstein /

An affinity for Princess Diana still reigns

Princess Diana once said that she wanted to be the “queen of people’s hearts,” and that very much proved to be the case. It’s also a big reason many people don’t like her ex—they still haven’t forgiven him for the things he did to Diana during their ill-fated marriage. Prince Charles publicly admitted that he started having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986 while he was still married to Princess Diana. He also treated Princess Diana poorly on a number of occasions. The public, who is still protective of Diana, seems to be unwilling to move past Charles’ past offenses.

Here are more fascinating facts about Princess Diana.

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Prince Charles and Camilla greeting crowds
Photo: Peter Rhys Williams /

Many don’t want to see Camilla as the Queen

The survey from BMG Research also revealed that only 20 per cent of people think Camilla should take the title of queen. Given that Prince Charles is now married to “the other woman,” that may also make people feel less inclined to get behind him as the reigning monarch. That said, even though the majority of people don’t like the idea of a Queen Camilla, they have warmed up to her. The Guardian reports that the Duchess of Cornwall has won many people’s hearts by tirelessly working for her charities without a lot of fanfare. Although she is in a relationship that has been scrutinized like no other, she’s a private person and takes actions to guard her privacy whenever possible.

Find out why Prince Charles didn’t marry Camilla in the first place.

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Prince Charles at conference
Photo: Drop of Light /

They don’t want a “petulant” king

If you peruse most of the best-selling books about the real life of the royals, you’ll see that Prince Charles isn’t exactly praised by biographers. Even those with a credible connection to the prince are quick to point out his flaws. For example, Tom Bower, the author of Rebel Prince, describes Prince Charles as being petulant and uncaring about the times when he causes harm. Some of his private rants and tantrums have been made public, further damaging his reputation.

Check out the most shocking royal memoirs ever published.

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Prince Charles and Camilla
Photo: Maja Tomic /

They think he won’t do a good job

Many British citizens think that Prince Charles wouldn’t be a good king. The role of a reigning monarch is not one to be taken lightly by any means, and people fear that Prince Charles just doesn’t have what it takes to rise to the occasion. Whether because of his personality traits or capabilities or something else entirely, if people don’t have confidence that he will do a good job, it will be hard for them to get behind him.

Here, a body language expert decodes 13 iconic photos of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

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Prince Charles and the Queen on the Buckingham Palace balcony
Photo: Karl Weller /

A longer reign offers a reassuring consistency

If Prince Charles becomes the king, his reign is inevitably going to be far shorter than Queen Elizabeth’s record-breaking time on the throne. While Prince Charles was three years old when he became the heir apparent, he is now 73. Queen Elizabeth became queen when she was 25 years old, and she is now 95. The fact that Prince Charles will have such a shorter reign concerns some people. Why? Change on a grand scale can be scary, while consistency gives people a sense of what to expect.

Take a look back at the Queen’s extraordinary life in 30 quotes.

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Prince Charles greeting people
Photo: Peter Rhys Williams /

They think that Prince Charles is a snob

Prince Charles doesn’t possess the charm and warmth that Princess Diana had in spades. He comes off as aloof, and the New Yorker even described him as “a snob.” Although it may be unfair to compare Prince Charles to those who haven’t been raised to view protocol and proper behaviour as such a priority, the Prince doesn’t always seem to be eager to relate to ordinary citizens. Prince William, on the other hand, has reached out to people much as his mother did, and he has a compassionate way about him. That is what many people want to see in a king.

Check out these rare photos of Prince William with Princess Diana.

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Fox hunt in England
Photo: djaphoto /

Prince Charles has shown a disregard for animal welfare

Although Prince Charles has taken a stand on important environmental issues such as sustainability and climate change, he has fallen somewhat short on animal-welfare issues. Whereas Prince Harry chose not to participate in a 2018 grouse hunt, Prince Charles has gone so far as to call fox hunting “romantic.” Animal rights is a growing topic of concern for British citizens, so he is not going to win supporters by holding fast to those ideas—and being vocal about them.

Find out which royal family “rules” are complete myths.

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Prince Charles charity work
Photo: Mircea Rosca /

His good works don’t make headlines

Blame the tabloid press or Charles’s self-created scandals over the years, but the more salacious or negative details of his life often get top billing. As mentioned, however, Charles has actually done a lot of good for the United Kingdom and has tried to make a difference. He has been outspoken about the need to protect the environment for much of his adult life, and he’s devoted a good deal of time to the many charities he started. These good deeds have been largely ignored or glossed over, however.

Find out how much the crown jewels are actually worth.

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Prince Charles in sunglasses
Photo: Shutterstock

Prince Charles sees the monarchy in a “different way”

Prince Charles told Vanity Fair in 2010 that he sees the role of a constitutional monarch “in a different way” than those who have reigned before him. That alone may not be at all alarming in and of itself, but his vague ideas on changing what is a very traditional role may scare some people. He might calm his future subjects if he were more specific about what he wants to do differently.

Here’s exactly what plans are in place when the Queen passes.

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They see Prince Charles as disloyal

Prince Charles has a history of not being loyal to important people in his life—or even to himself. He betrayed the love he had for Camilla to marry Diana. He then betrayed Diana to carry on an affair with Camilla. Plus, he went against the royal family’s wishes for him concerning the divorce he eventually chose. While it was ultimately the right decision for him, it left people with lingering bad feelings about him. Also, loyalty is important for a monarch, so these concerns are understandable on a larger level.

Next, take a look back at Prince Charles’s most memorable visits to Canada.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest