London: Nearly half of the British public thinks that Prince Charles’ wife Camilia should become Queen when the Prince of Wales succeeds Queen Elizabeth II to the country’s throne, according to a new opinion poll. The survey, released before the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary this week, shows how public opposition to Duchess of Cornwall, has softened as she has become one of the key figures of Britain’s royal family.
When the couple married a decade ago, 7 per cent of people polled by YouGov thought that the 67-year-old should one day be Queen. A new YouGov poll conducted last month shows that 49 per cent of adults questioned in Britain thought the Duchess of Cornwall should become Queen Consort, the traditional title of the wife of a reigning monarch.
According to the ‘The Times’, the memory of Princess Diana remains an obstacle to greater public backing for the Duchess becoming Queen Consort when the Prince of Wales becomes King. More than one-third of those questioned — almost one in four women and three in ten men — thought that the Duchess should be given a lesser title than Queen Consort out of “sensitivity” to Diana, the YouGov poll of 1,830 adults in Britain found.
Aides have always insisted that the Duchess does not want to be known as Queen and intends to be known as Princess Consort instead. At the time of the couple’s wedding, the then Department of Constitutional Affairs said legislation would be required in the UK and other countries where the monarch is head of state, if the King’s wife were to be denied the title of Queen.
Nicola Wildash, research executive at YouGov, suggested that change in the public’s attitude towards the Duchess was more a case of people becoming used to Camilla, rather than a surge in popularity. “The further we get from Diana’s death, the less that will resonate in people’s minds. As soon as the public see something for years and years, they become more neutralised to the issue,” she said. The poll found 42 per cent said they had neither a positive or negative impression of Camilla, with 31 per cent saying they had a positive one and 23 per cent a negative one.