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11 Reasons British Citizens 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 charlesChris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

A prince of the people?

Prince Charles is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, but he hasn’t enjoyed great popularity with British citizens since more private details about his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales became public knowledge. One poll showed that the popularity of the man who is next in line to the throne is decreasing, while a recent 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 the British aren’t excited by the idea of Prince Charles becoming their new king. Read up on these things you didn’t know about Prince Charles.

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Prince william and duchess KateMax Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

They favor Prince William and Duchess Kate

Prince William, Duchess Kate, and their three children are adored in England. 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. Prince William and Duchess Kate have now been married for nearly a decade. The Atlantic calls them a “fairy tale,” with their picture-perfect family and their distinct lack of scandals. Plus, Prince William and Prince Harry are the most liked royals “since records began,” according to the Evening Standard, so, it makes sense that people want to see their most liked royal on the throne. That said, Prince Harry’s popularity may have taken a bit of hit since he and Meghan “stepped back” from their royal duties.

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princess diana Bettmann/Getty Images

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 bad 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.

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Camilla duchess of cornwallJonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Many don’t want to see Camilla as the Queen

The survey from BMG Research also revealed that only 20 percent 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. Here are another 20 things you didn’t know about Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

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prince william and prince charlesAnwar Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

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. This is what really happened between Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

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Prince CharlesGeoff Caddick - WPA Pool/Getty Images

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’s what it’s really like to work for the royal family.

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prince charlesChris Jackson/GP/Getty Images

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 time on the throne. While Prince Charles was three years old when he became the heir apparent, he is now 72. Queen Elizabeth became queen when she was 25 years old, and she is now 94. 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. A body language expert analyzes iconic photos of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

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prince charlesJacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images

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 behavior as such a priority, the prince doesn’t always seem to be eager to relate to ordinary British 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.

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prince charlesTim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

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 pitifully short on animal-welfare issues. Whereas Prince Harry chose not to participate in a grouse hunt recently, 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.

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prince charlesPhilip Toscano/WPA Pool/Getty Images

His good works don’t make headlines

Blame the British press or Charles’ 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. In case you were wondering, here’s why British tabloids are more extreme than American tabloids.

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prince charles monarchyMax Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

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.

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princess diana and prince charlesJayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

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, check out the royal family scandals that rocked the world.


  • NBC News: “Popular Princes Harry and William overshadow Prince Charles”
  • Express: “‘Interfering!’ Prince Charles told to step aside and let Prince William become King”
  • Independent: “Almost half of British public want Prince Charles to give throne to William upon Queen’s death, survey finds”
  • The Atlantic: “Why William and Kate Are a ‘Fairy Tale’ but Harry and Meghan Are ‘Couple Goals’”
  • Evening Standard: “Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry ‘are the most liked royals since records began'”
  • The Guardian: “Camilla at 70: a woman transformed”
  • The New Yorker: “Where Prince Charles Went Wrong”
  • The Times: “How Prince Charles lobbied Tony Blair over ban on ‘romantic’ fox hunts”

Robin Raven
Robin Raven is a travel, lifestyle, vegan food, and entertainment writer. She is also a consumer products expert covering product reviews and gift guides. Additionally, she has expertise in spas, luxury travel, and all things Disney. She has an MFA from California State University, Northridge. As an author, her latest books are Santa's First Vegan Christmas and The Kindness Workbook: An Interactive Guide for Creating Compassion in Yourself and the World.