The Korea Herald


Fewer Britons believe queen’s role is for life: poll

By Korea Herald

Published : May 13, 2013 - 20:30

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LONDON (AFP) ― The number of Britons who believe Queen Elizabeth II should hand over to Prince Charles before her death has increased, although a majority still think she should reign for life, an opinion poll found on Sunday.

Some 53 percent of voters said the 87-year-old monarch should resist any calls to abdicate, a decrease from 64 percent in March, the YouGov survey found. Some 33 percent said she should consider stepping down at some stage.

The queen, who celebrated 60 years on the British throne last year, has begun handing over some of her duties to younger members of the royal family, particularly overseas tours.

It was announced last week that Prince Charles would attend November’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Sri Lanka in his mother’s place, the first time she will have missed such a summit for four decades.

The queen was forced to cancel several public engagements earlier this year after she came down with suspected gastroenteritis and was hospitalized for the first time in a decade.

Asked what the monarch should do if she became too ill to carry out her duties, 43 percent of the 1,945 adults questioned in the May 9-10 poll said she should remain queen, but 48 percent said she should abdicate.

In March, 51 percent thought she should carry on regardless, according to the Sunday Times newspaper which commissioned the poll.

Elsewhere, the survey revealed a surge in popularity for Prince Charles, with 50 percent saying he would make a good king, up 13 points from a poll this time last year.

Only 23 percent of respondents still had doubts, down from 37 percent.

Although Charles has been criticized for his outspoken remarks against modern architecture and on the environment, 59 percent said he should continue to speak out if he becomes king.

His mother is famously discreet, never letting her personal views be known.

The younger generation of royals are also popular.

Some 85 percent of voters said Prince William, the second in the line to the throne, made a positive contribution to the royal family. The figure was only slightly lower, at 79 percent, for his wife Catherine.

For Prince Harry, currently on a tour to the United States, the figure was 72 percent, a respectable level given his chequered past.