While it’s Prince Charles who’s up next in the line of royal succession, there are U.K. citizens who would prefer his son Prince William as king after Queen Elizabeth II’s reign ends. At least that’s according to a new poll released by YouGov, which found that the Duke of Cambridge’s popularity had grown in recent months.
The polling results, which were posted to Twitter on Tuesday, December 15 by the international research data and analytics group, showed what they called “The Crown effect”—referring to the Netflix series of the same name. Followers of the show would know that Season 4 of The Crown was released in November 2020, and it focuses on Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles (his now-wife) during his marriage to Princess Diana. Probably needless to say, the season elicited some serious royal blowback—and it looks like members of the public might have been swayed by the show’s portrayal, too. According to YouGov, the Duke of Wales’ popularity as monarch dropped five percentage points since June 2020. Meanwhile, his son William—who is second in line to the throne as the Queen’s first grandson—gained two percentage points in popularity in the last five months.
Still, as one Twitter user commented, “It’s a monarchy, not a democracy.” The public doesn’t *actually* have a say in who becomes the next monarch, and all avenues are pointing to Prince Charles becoming the U.K.’s prince regent soon. According to royal commentator Robert Johnson, Queen Elizabeth Ii is likely to hand her crown over to Charles in 2021: “I still firmly believe when the Queen becomes 95, that she will step down,” he said during an episode of True Royalty TV’s weekly program, The Royal Beat.
Royal reporter Jack Royston, who spoke on The Royal Beat alongside Jobson, thinks so too—but he also thinks it won’t be an easy decision for the monarch to step down. “I think she won’t want to, but realistically she will get to a point where she has handed over everything to Charles,” Royston said, “and then how do you look your son in the eye and tell him he is not going to be King?” Well, at least the public won’t be able to make that choice any harder.