Charles’s popularity plummets amid the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death:
Just a third of Britons think he’s doing a good job while only 14% want Camilla to be Queen, according to shocking new poll
Prince Charles’s popularity has plunged in run up to anniversary of Di’s death
New poll shows just one in four think he has had a negative impact on royals
And only 14 per cent want to see Camilla as queen when he becomes king
Comes after the head of state and her family were photographed in Balmoral
Prince Charles’s popularity has plunged in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, a poll reveals today.
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Only a third of Britons believe the Prince of Wales has been beneficial for the Royal Family – down from nearly two-thirds four years ago.
And just 14 per cent want to see his wife Camilla as queen when be becomes king – a third say she should have no title at all.
The new study, carried out by YouGov, shows one in four now believes the heir to the throne has had a negative impact on the royals, a big jump since 2013.
The damning public verdict came as royal sources quashed speculation that the Queen planned to step aside from public duties to allow Charles to become regent. The poll’s key findings include:
Just 36 per cent of the public think the Prince of Wales has made a positive contribution to the monarchy, compared with 60 per cent in 2013;
Only 8 per cent believe he has made a very positive contribution, compared with 22 per cent four years ago;
Another 28 per cent believe he has made a fairly positive contribution, down from 38 per cent in 2013;
Nine per cent thought his impact was very negative, up from 6 per cent, and 18 per cent fairly negative, up from 9 per cent.
Royal commentator Penny Junor said the poll indicated the public still resented Charles for the collapse of his relationship with Diana.
‘He gets a hard time because his marriage failed,’ she said.
‘He’s never been forgiven for that – because Diana blamed him and he never ever said a word. He’s never explained what went on in his marriage.
‘The question of Diana has always been a source of difficulty between him and his sons.’ Charles’s unpopularity is likely to have increased because of the widespread attention surrounding Diana ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997.
William and Harry took part in a glowing television tribute to their mother on ITV, but made no mention of their father.
The YouGov poll for the Press Association was carried out during extensive press previews of a controversial Channel 4 documentary which screened video footage revealing how Charles had asserted his right to have a mistress.
Aside from the Queen and Prince Philip, William is regarded as having made the best contribution to the Royal Family with a 78 per cent approval.
This is followed by Harry on 77 per cent, Kate 73 per cent, Charles 36 per cent and Camilla on just 18 per cent.
But only Harry, who left the Army to pursue his charitable causes, has increased his overall positive rating, which was up five percentage points since 2013. William dropped by seven points and Kate by six.
In an indication of generational differences over support for the royals, Kate’s approval rating was 81 per cent with the over-65s, compared with 53 per cent among the 18 to 24-year-olds.
The number who believe Camilla has had a positive impact is down ten percentage points on 2013. And 37 per cent felt she had a negative impact on the monarchy – including 18 per cent who regarded her as very negative.
Most think instead of Queen she should be called Princess Consort, but almost a third believe she should not have a title at all.
When Camilla married Charles 12 years ago, aides said she intended to be known as Princess Consort when he is King.
But according to legal experts, unless there is change in the law, Camilla will technically become Queen no matter what title she actually uses.
Mrs Junor said she was surprised by the findings, adding: ‘We’ve moved on 20 years. Charles’s reputation, I thought, was completely rehabilitated.
‘He’s become a much happier, more relaxed and more confident Prince of Wales and I thought much more popular as a result.
‘His view has always been that history will judge him.
‘He knows that he did all he could to try and make his marriage work and he failed.’
Of Camilla taking the title Queen, Mrs Junor said: ‘Principally her value is in giving Charles the confidence to do his job. It doesn’t matter a hoot actually what she’s called.’
Clarence House and Kensington Palace declined to comment on the poll.
Meanwhile, officials have dismissed speculation that the Queen has told her inner circle she will retire from royal duties and step aside for Charles if she is still on the throne aged 95.
‘The Queen has always been so vehement that there will never be a regency unless she was sick to the point of being unable to perform her duties,’ one told The Sunday Times.
The 1937 Regency Act would allow the Queen to cede her power to Charles, ‘in the event of incapacity of the sovereign through ill-health, and for the performance of certain royal functions in the name and on behalf of the sovereign in certain other events’. But Palace aides point to the Queen’s pledge to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday, when she said: ‘I declare… that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.’
Royal aides said yesterday they were mystified at recent speculation over the idea of a regency and insisted the claims were ‘nothing they recognise’.
According to one source, the Queen’s autumn schedule is as busy as it has ever been, with a series of visits around the country scheduled.
Philip’s F-word rant to No 10
Prince Philip launched a four-letter rant at Tony Blair’s spin doctors over plans to have William and Harry walk behind Diana’s coffin, it has been claimed.
The Duke of Edinburgh reportedly told No 10 officials to ‘f*** off’ after they discussed having the young princes follow the funeral cortege on foot.
The Queen is said to have backed her husband over his emotional outburst during a telephone conference call.
Mr Blair’s team, including spin doctor Alastair Campbell, were at Buckingham Palace, where they had met royal aides.
They were discussing proposals with Balmoral, where the Queen and Prince Philip were staying with William and Harry.
Mr Blair’s No 10 ‘gatekeeper’ Anji Hunter has described her shock at Prince Philip’s reaction when it was suggested the princes should follow the cortege.
‘I can remember – it sends a tingle up my back,’ she said in a BBC film about Diana’s funeral. ‘We were all talking about how William and Harry should be involved and suddenly came Prince Philip’s voice.
‘We hadn’t heard from him before, but he was really anguished. “It’s about the boys,” he cried, “They’ve lost their mother.” ’
Miss Hunter’s husband, Sky TV political commentator Adam Boulton, gave an even more vivid account.
‘The Queen relished the moment when Philip bellowed over the speaker phone from Balmoral, “F*** off, we are talking about two boys who have just lost their mother,”’ Mr Boulton said in his book about the Blair administration, Tony’s Ten Years.
The call was arranged by the Lord Chamberlain Lord Airlie at a time when the Blair government was accused of taking over the funeral plans.
The poignant images of the young princes, then 15 and 12, walking behind Princess Diana’s coffin, their heads bowed, were beamed around the world.
At the time commentators reported that they had chosen to do so, but the decision continues to provoke rows.
The Princes’ uncle recently claimed that a palace aide ‘lied’ about the plan when he was told they wanted to do it.
Earl Spencer said it was only later he learned the brothers had not wanted the ‘bizarre and cruel’ ordeal.
Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE
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