Nearly Half of Britons Think Prince Charles Should Step Aside for Prince William

That said, recent survey data isn’t all bad for the Prince of Wales and the monarchy as a whole.

Prince Charles Prince William
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Newly released survey data shows that nearly half of Britons think Prince Charles should step aside in favor of his son, Prince William, ascending to the throne when the Queen’s reign ends.

This is according to research done by Ipsos and reported on by The Independent, which says 42 percent of Britons think the Prince of Wales should allow his son to take the throne when that time comes. This compares with 24 percent who think Charles should not step aside; 29 percent said they don’t have strong feelings on the issue.

Since this is likely never going to happen—after all, Charles has been in training for the top job for all of his 73 years of life—the same research shows that 48 percent of people in the U.K. still believe the Prince of Wales will do a good job as king, compared with 19 percent who think he will fare poorly, and 27 percent who are neutral on the subject.

The research consisted of interviewing a representative sample of 2,055 British adults on March 24 and 25, 2022, and actually bodes positively for the Prince of Wales: His public perception has jumped 11 percentage points since 2018, up to 43 percent. Charles’ wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is viewed with 36 percent favorability. (Comparatively, the Queen carries a 69 percent approval rating, William has a 64 percent approval rating, and the Duchess of Cambridge clocks in at 60 percent.)

Overall, Britons seem to want to keep the monarchy around, with 44 percent surveyed stating that abolishing the monarchy would be worse for Britain. (On the flip side, 22 percent think it would be better.)

“At the moment, only a minority of people believe Britain would be better off without the monarchy, and the popularity of the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge remains strong,” says Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos. “Looking to the future, half of Britons have faith in Prince Charles as a future king, and more people view him in a positive light than four years ago. However, with the popularity of Prince William not far behind that of the Queen, Britons also wonder whether Prince Charles should step aside in favor of his eldest son. But their actions now are still important for the longer-term future of the royal family.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.