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10 Controversial Reasons Why Some Brits Didn’t Want Charles To Be King

King Charles III, who succeeded his mother Queen Elizabeth after her death on September 8, 2022, was Britain’s longest-serving heir apparent. But he did not enjoy universal approval among Brits after the personal details about his marriage to Princess Diana became public.

In fact, polling conducted in the years before the queen’s death showed that most British citizens preferred the idea of another member of the royal family, like Prince William, becoming king.

However, it seems that things have changed — and quite quickly. For instance, a YouGov survey conducted shortly after the queen’s death revealed that 63% of people now feel like King Charles will do a pretty good job as monarch. That’s a 31% increase from the previous survey.

While only time will tell if public opinion remains strong, we couldn’t help but wonder why the British people didn’t want Charles to be king.

Here’s what we’ve found out!

william and kate
Photo by Shaun Jeffers from Shutterstock

They Favored William and Kate

The new Prince and Princess of Wales, as well as their three children, are really adored in England. In fact, according to a 2019 survey conducted by BMG Research, nearly 50% of the British public wanted Charles to take a step back and let his oldest son become king when Queen Elizabeth II passed away.

Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton have been married for over a decade. The Atlantic describes their family as a “fairy tale”, with their picture-perfect life and their lack of scandals.

On top of this, both William and Harry are the most beloved royals “since records began,” according to several sources. So it makes sense that a lot of people wanted to see their most adored royal on the throne.

Many Didn’t Want To Have Camilla as Queen

The 2019 poll from BMG Research also showed that not even a quarter of people thought Camilla should be named queen. However, things have changed. According to the recent YouGov survey, Camilla’s popularity is at its highest level ever — 53%.

She now holds the title of queen consort, which was completed with Queen Elizabeth’s blessing before her death. This being said, it seems that the general public has grown fond of Camilla in recent years.

According to The Guardian, King Charles’ wife won many people’s hearts by faithfully working for her charities without much fanfare. Despite being in a relationship that has been considered controversial for so many years, Camilla is actually a private person who takes precautions to protect her privacy whenever possible.

They Still Miss Princess Diana

“I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts”, Princess Diana once said during an interview, and this proved to be the case. It’s also one of the reasons why many British citizens didn’t like Charles for so long — and truth be told, it seems that they haven’t really forgiven him for the awful things he did to Diana during their disastrous marriage.

Charles openly admitted having an affair with Camilla in 1986 while he was still married to Diana. He also mistreated her on several occasions. The public is still protective of Diana, so it has been at least partially unwilling to forgive Charles for his past offenses.

prince charles
autore dello scatto sconosciuto, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

They Saw Him As Disloyal

This reason has something in common with the previous one. King Charles is known to not have been loyal to important people throughout his life — or even to himself. He betrayed the feelings he had for Camilla by starting a family with Diana. He then betrayed his wife to have an affair with Camilla.

On top of this, he ignored the royal family’s wishes concerning the divorce he eventually chose. While separating from Princess Diana was ultimately the right decision for him, it made people develop bad feelings about him.

These people believe that loyalty is crucial for a monarch, so their concerns are understandable on a larger scale.

They Didn’t Want a “Petulant” King

If you read most of the best-selling books about the members of the British Royal Family (here are some you may be interested in), you will notice that King Charles isn’t exactly praised by biographers. In fact, even those who have a credible connection with him are quick to highlight his flaws.

For instance, according to Tom Bower, the one who wrote Rebel Prince, Charles is uncaring and petulant about situations when he causes harm. People also saw some of his private tantrums and rants that have become public, which further damaged his reputation.

Petulant or not, we should let time tell exactly what kind of king will Charles be.

A Longer Reign Provides a Reassuring Consistency

The next reason has nothing to do with something King Charles said or did in the past. We’re talking about his age. His reign will inevitably be much shorter than Queen Elizabeth III’s time on the throne.

While he was a toddler when he became the heir apparent, Charles is now 73 years old. His mother became queen at the age of 25, and she passed away at 96. The fact that Charles will have a far shorter reign concerns some Brits. Why? Change on a large scale can be frightening, while consistency gives people an idea of what to expect in the future.

They Believed He Wouldn’t Do a Good Job

The disclosures of infidelity in his marriage to Princess Diana left Charles, now king, and his now-queen consort deeply unpopular. While he has regained some popularity among the British people, the King of Britain remains less liked than many other members of the Royal family.

As previously stated, until very recently, many Brits were concerned about how good Charles would be as king. The position of a reigning monarch is not to be taken lightly, and many thought that he would fail to rise to the occasion.

But now that Charles is king, public opinion has shifted, and he has the opportunity to prove those previous naysayers wrong.

They Thought He Seemed Like a Snob

King Charles doesn’t possess the warmth and charm that Princess Diana had in spades. But the truth is, if you compare those two who once shared a love story, you may find him aloof. The New Yorker goes even further describing him as “a snob”.

Although it may be wrong to compare Charles to those who haven’t been raised to view proper behavior and protocol as a priority, he hasn’t always seemed willing to relate to and empathize with ordinary Brits. Prince William, on the other hand, is known to reach out to people in the same way his mother once did. That’s one of the things many people want to see in a king.

king charles
Photo by Peter Rhys Williams from Shutterstock

His Good Works Did Not Always Make the Front Pages

Blame the British media or Charles’s self-created controversies over the years, but the more negative and salacious details of his life often gain the most attention. However, the new King has spent decades preparing for the throne, and there are a lot of people willing to praise his accomplishments.

He has tried to make a difference and has done a lot of good for the UK. He has been pretty vocal for much of his life about the importance of protecting the environment, and he has spent a great deal of time with several charities he started. These good works have been largely glossed over or ignored, however.

Charles Showed No Consideration for Animal Welfare

Although King Charles has spoken out on critical environmental issues such as climate change and sustainability, he has fallen short on animal-welfare issues. While Prince Harry chose not to join a grouse hunt in 2018, his father did participate, and he even went so far as to describe fox hunting as “romantic”. It may be something trifling, but people do remember this kind of stuff.

Animal rights is a topic of ever-growing concern for British people, so he is not going to have more supporters by sticking to such ideas — and being outspoken about them.

You may also be interested in 5 Times The British Royal Family Truly Shocked the World.


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