Sunday, 29 May 2022

One in three think the Queen should put her feet up and let Charles take over

One in three Brits think it’s time for the Queen to let Charles be king after months of health problems for the 96-year-old.

Polling shows there would be bigger support than ever for the monarch should she decide to step aside and allow the Prince of Wales to take over.

A Yougov survey carried out on behalf of Times Radio found that less than half now think she should remain as monarch for the rest of her life.

In a week royal analysts have described as a fundamental shift towards a regency, 34% said they thought the Queen should retire. 

It’s the first time since the poll began two years ago that there has been a decisive shift towards the public thinking it may be time for the Queen step aside.

A majority have always believed she should reign as long as she lives but opinion has moved significantly this week.

The Queen’s absence from the state opening of parliament, her first since 1963, was seen as a pivotal moment for the monarchy.

Charles’ presence at the centre of the ceremony pointed to a future where either he is king or rules on his mother’s behalf.

In the year the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, there is a growing sense any return to full normal duties may not be feasible. 

Earlier this week, former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said: ‘The heir is teetering on the edge of becoming a de facto prince regent. William will observe what awaits him.

‘With the Queen progressively withdrawing from public life, the palace is keen to show the monarchy is safe in the hands of father and son.’

She has been forced to cancel several formal engagements in recent months because of a spate of medical complaints.

The Queen spent a night in hospital in October 2021 so tests could be carried out for an unspecified condition.

Buckingham Palace is tight-lipped about the monarch’s health but has put subsequent absence down to a back problem and ‘episodic mobility’ issues.

But she raised hopes she will be well enough to attend jubilee celebrations planned for next month with an appearance at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday.

The Queen appeared to be in high spirits as she turned up with a beaming smile on her face for an event she has not missed in nearly eight decades.

She was spotted chatting with event organisers from the window of her Range Rover before being taken to the royal box.

The Queen watched horses bred at her stables race alongside her son Prince Edward.

A planned visit to the show on Thursday was cancelled at the last minute, with the Queen instead opting to visit her horses in private.

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