Mon, Jun 11, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Most Britons favor Prince Charles as their next king: poll

AFP, LONDON

Britain’s heir to the throne Prince Charles has overtaken his son William as the people’s preferred successor to Queen Elizabeth II in the wake of her diamond jubilee, a poll suggested yesterday.

YouGov’s poll for the Sunday Times newspaper found that 44 percent of respondents want Charles to succeed his mother, with 38 percent opting for William.

The figures have been exactly reversed since a poll two weeks ago, suggesting Britons were impressed by how Charles stood in for his ill father Prince Philip at last weekend’s festivities marking the queen’s 60-year reign.

Philip, who celebrated his 91st birthday yesterday, was released from hospital on Saturday after five days of treatment for a bladder infection that forced him to miss the final jubilee celebrations.

At the star-studded jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace on Monday last week, thousands of revelers chanted Philip’s name after Charles told them: “If we shout loud enough, he might just hear us in hospital.”

Charles, 63, also paid a warm and witty tribute to his “mummy,” describing her “a very special person” as he took to the stage at the end of a concert featuring the likes of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

With his father absent, Charles also stood beside his mother during Tuesday’s jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral, and joined her, along with his wife Camilla, in a horse-drawn carriage as she waved to more huge crowds.

Philip’s popularity has also risen in the wake of his illness, with 58 percent describing him as an asset to the royal family compared to 47 percent before the jubilee celebrations.

Prince William’s popularity surged after his engagement to Kate Middleton, who he married last year in a glittering ceremony that was broadcast around the world.

Support for the royal family remains high, with 75 percent of Britons in favor of keeping the monarchy, according to the YouGov poll.

Buckingham Palace said 1.5 million people had filled central London on Tuesday to cheer the 86-year-old queen, many waving Union Jack flags as she passed in her carriage and waved from the palace balcony.

Some 1.2 million people also lined London’s River Thames on Sunday last week for the spectacular 1,000-boat jubilee pageant, while street parties were held up and down the country.

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