Why This Royal Expert Thinks There's A Crisis Waiting For Prince Charles

Prince Charles is next in line for the throne, but many people are not fans of him becoming king. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, took the throne in 1952, and, if she holds onto it for another two and a half years, she will earn the title of the longest-reigning sovereign ever. While she is 95 years old, remember that her mother lived to be 101.

Recently, though, the queen has had some health scares. She was seen using a cane for the first time since 2003 (via People), and she was told to skip her evening martini in order to prepare for upcoming engagements and next year's Platinum Jubilee (via Vanity Fair). Plus, she had an overnight hospital stay, was ordered to rest (via NBC News), and suffered a back sprain (via CBS News).

While an insider told Newsweek that the palace is "hopeful" Queen Elizabeth will push on with "light duties," 73-year-old Prince Charles has been preparing to take the throne for his entire life — even though many people would prefer if he did not become king.

The public isn't excited about Prince Charles taking the throne

In 1991, 82% of those in Britain agreed that Prince Charles would be a good king. Soon after, though, news broke that he had cheated on Princess Diana and that the couple was getting a divorce, which led to Charles' popularity taking a nosedive, being cut in half. In May 2021, it was down to 31%.

Since Diana was the People's Princess, many still have a soft spot for her today and, in turn, don't want to see Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, become queen. What other reasons are there, though, for the public disfavoring Charles?

One is that change can be scary. Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne since she was 25. Since Charles is already in his 70s, his reign will be shorter and will be followed by yet another royal, Prince William, stepping into the position. 

Furthermore, Charles has said that he views the role of a monarch "in a different way" than his mother, which implies more changes will be made when he becomes king (via Reader's Digest). Earlier in 2021, reports touching on these changes came out. Apparently, he plans to "trim down the monarchy" and get rid of "hangers-on," he said, in order to have everything run as efficiently as possible. 

He also plans on living in "a flat above the shop," referring to Buckingham Palace, using Highgrove as his home and moving Prince William and Kate Middleton from Kensington Palace to Windsor Castle. There will also be fewer working royals, and Buckingham Palace could be opened up to the public, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

Media portrayals of the prince have led to a stronger dislike of him

Additionally, many favor Prince William over Prince Charles, who has been described as uncaring and reportedly throws tantrums and goes off on rants (via Reader's Digest). Now, given their present and future roles in the royal family, biographer Penny Junor predicts it will be "difficult" between father and son, with "an element of competition" (via Newsweek).

Negative opinions about the Prince of Wales have only increased thanks to "The Crown." The hit Netflix show about the royal family has reignited an interest in the infamous love triangle between Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Camilla Parker Bowles. In particular, the fourth season featured Charles meeting and marrying a young Diana Spencer while having an affair with Camilla.

Fans have since spoken out about how Charles did not deserve Diana and how whiny and jealous he seemed, as reported by Mic.com.

Prince Charles 'has got a mountain to climb,' says a royal expert

Regardless of how people feel, Prince Charles is next in line to take the throne. Biographer Andrew Morton says that the Prince of Wales "has got a mountain to climb" in terms of popularity, as he "is only polling in the low 30s and low 40s," which "causes alarm."

After he does become king, with Camilla by his side as queen, more trouble is likely as the shadow of Princess Diana, the people's princess, will always linger over his reign, says author Penny Junor.

"I think that is something that will haunt him indefinitely, unhappily," she said (via Newsweek). "The problem is that at every anniversary, she will be brought up again, and the facts or a version of the facts will be trotted out. There will always be people who choose to believe everything they see and hear and watch. Things like 'The Crown,' I think, are incredibly damaging and are giving a false impression of Charles to the world."