The Prince and the public

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The Independent Online

The Prince of Wales may be relieved that a once unthinkable wedding is being accepted with a shrug and a "might as well". But such grudging tolerance is hardly a secure foundation for the survival of the monarchy. The weekend's instant opinion polls expose a deep reservoir of resentment towards both Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles beneath a typically British view that the decision to marry is a matter for them. The Queen once said that a "hereditary monarchy ... exists only with the support and consent of the people." Hence the constitutional significance of the opinion polls. Her son should be alarmed by the number of people opposed to his succeeding to the throne at all. To win respect in even a purely ceremonial role as head of state he needs to realise how much he must do to dispel the impression that he is arrogant and out of touch.

The Prince of Wales may be relieved that a once unthinkable wedding is being accepted with a shrug and a "might as well". But such grudging tolerance is hardly a secure foundation for the survival of the monarchy. The weekend's instant opinion polls expose a deep reservoir of resentment towards both Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles beneath a typically British view that the decision to marry is a matter for them. The Queen once said that a "hereditary monarchy ... exists only with the support and consent of the people." Hence the constitutional significance of the opinion polls. Her son should be alarmed by the number of people opposed to his succeeding to the throne at all. To win respect in even a purely ceremonial role as head of state he needs to realise how much he must do to dispel the impression that he is arrogant and out of touch.

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