Move over Kate ... Prince William is favourite royal, poll reveals
Whatever it is, Prince William's got it.
The 30-year-old second in line for the throne has been voted the most popular royal, even outdistancing his grandmother Elizabeth and his wife Kate and in a British poll released Monday.
Prince William was named by 62 per cent of the respondents, which not only topped the Queen (48%), but also the 47 per cent score that was the highest his mother Princess Diana ever attained (seen at right with her boys in 1987).
William's dad (and heir apparent), Prince Charles, saw his popularity drop yet again from his high of 50 per cent in 1984, though he has undoubtedly earned some decent brownie points for his recent tour of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.
"A lot of people would like the idea of William succeeding straight away. He is young and good looking and popular," Ipsos Mori director Roger Mortimore told the London Evening Standard.
"I think young people can see something of themselves in William and Kate. They can see the monarchy looking more modern than it did beforehand."
Clearly, the old guard is fading, with all of the Queen's children declining in popularity while William, Kate and Harry moved up the ladder. The exception is Prince Philip, who, at 91, is enjoying a resurgence as the elder statesman and royal trooper, in spite of some ill health.
Here are the poll's results, with 2001 results in brackets:
- Prince William 62% (up 40%)
- The Queen 48 (up 11%)
- Prince Harry 36 (up 29%)
- Duchess of Cambridge 23 (-)
- Prince Charles 21 (down 17%)
- Princess Anne 14 (down 14%)
- Prince Philip 11 (up 6%)
- Prince Andrew 2 (down 8%)
- Duchess of Cornwall 2 (-)
- Prince Edward 1 (down 3%)
- None 5 (down 8%)
Shed no tears for the Queen, who one would suspect should be at the top of the heap. She still has a 90 per cent satisfaction rating after 60 years on the job. Even better news, her reign has assured Britons that the monarchy is still a worthy entity, with 79 per cent in favour of keeping it. (Though half of respondents still think the family is given too much tax money.)
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Meanwhile, the talk is heating up that William is destined to cut back his RAF search and rescue duties to concentrate more on the family business. Reports are that he is moving his base of operations from St. James's Palace -- where he shares offices with his father and Prince Harry -- to Kensington Palace. About a dozen staff are already packing up for the shift as William opens his own London base.
He and Kate already have a cottage on the Palace grounds and will be moving into Apartment 1Z -- Princess Margaret's old quarters -- in the new year. The Daily Mail quotes an aide as saying that Prince Charles is footing the bill for move.
"There is no rift with Charles, just a recognition the time has come for the boys and Kate to create their own full identity," said the source.