The question of the likely royal divorce is unimportant from a constitutional point of view, but does raise a crucial point in that, increasingly, people wish to express their approval or otherwise of their future heir to the throne. What we are gradually seeing is a tacit 'election' of the next head of state. The Prince's recent television documentary is evidence of this, being an opportunity to justify his position to a more and more sceptical public.
The choice of potential presidential candidates offered to the poll sample was desperately unimaginative. A future president might well be non-executive in status, so there would be no need for an ex-politician. Candidates could be drawn from business, the arts, science or other sources. The election of an ex-royal for the first term might well be a transitional step from monarchy to republic.
What is obvious, though, is that questions are being asked in a way that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. A republic is now being considered as a serious option for this country.
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