During the Diamond Jubilee festivities I cam across an argument that I have seen on the internet before, namely, that when Her Majesty dies the crown should go to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge rather than the next in line, Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales. This generally has me rolling my eyes and shaking my head with a mixture of laughter and annoyance. I find the majority of those who entertain this wish are Americans. Although there are some British subjects who also entertain this idea the majority of people that understand the monarchy do not want to see this happen.
I do understand the popularity of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. First of all Prince William is the son of the very popular Diana, Princess of Wales whose fairytale marriage ended in divorce and she died much too young in a tragic car accident. Secondly, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are a young and attractive couple and in the US we have a culture that worships youth. At 63 The Prince of Wales just doesn’t have the youth appeal that his son has.
When I began following royalty in the late 70s the Prince of Wales was a young man of action. He was in the military and also active in sports. He also was very cultured, articulate and intelligent and I found much to admire and respect in him. Problems came with his marriage to the then Lady Diana Spencer. With hindsight we all now know that what began as a modern day fairytale not only ended sadly but probably never should have happened in the first place. The couple were ill suited for one another. Prince Charles was unable to let go of the woman he truly loved and this was a huge source of problems in their marriage. At some point in the marriage Diana also strayed.
The affair between Charles and the woman who is now his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the main reason many want the crown to skip a generation. I can understand and empathize with their dislike and anger toward Charles. I went through that for a time period myself. In time I was able to move on and what helped me was seeing his actions during Diana’s funeral and how he really became a hands on Dad to the boys after her death. The the men do have a close familial relationship and that has also helped me regain my respect for him.
As I have come to learn about the Duchess of Cornwall I have come to see that she is well suited to the Prince of Wales. From what I understand is that she is also very kind and has a very warm personality and her popularity is growing in the UK as people have come to experience her testify that she really is a remarkable woman in her own right.
The main reason Charles will someday be king is the fact that the succession to the monarchy is established in centuries old laws and the Queen does not have a say in these laws. Although the monarchy needs the support of the people to survive the succession cannot be just set aside based on personal whims.
When the time comes Charles does have large shoes to fill. His mother has been an an exemplary monarch and the Prince of Wales would be wise to adhere to as much as her style as he possibly can. However, the Prince of Wales will develop his own style when he becomes king and seeing that he can be a personable and caring individuals as well as an intelligent man who, like his mother, has dedicated his life to the service of his country, Charles will indeed make a fine king when his time comes.