Thursday, May 24, 2007


PRINCE Charles faces huge public opposition to Camilla becoming Queen despite a two-year charm offensive, a Daily Express opinion poll revealed last night.
Senior courtiers have admitted that he wants to leave the door open for his second wife to be given the title if the majority of the UK supports it.But our poll of thousands of readers yesterday showed that nine out of 10 people are resolutely opposed to a Queen Camilla.Two years after their wedding, the couple have still failed to win over millions of people who have concerns about swearing allegiance to two divorcees whose adultery ruined the life of Princess Diana. The latest poll comes amid fresh revelations of a secret plan to make Camilla Queen.Charles – who fought successfully for her to be called Her Royal Highness when they married in April 2005 – has had to accept that she does not use the title Princess of Wales. Publicly, his office has said it remains the “intention” that Camilla, now Duchess of Cornwall, will become Princess Consort when he becomes King. But many in the couple’s circle admit that the Prince would like her to become Queen and have urged him to defy public hostility towards his wife.

The Queen inspects the gardens at Chelsea
Sceptics point out that in December 1995 he said it was his intention never to remarry. And in 2000 his private secretary Stephen Lamport repeated the claim, insisting: “There is no intention of remarrying. We keep saying it but it is ignored or dismissed as dissembling.”Alan Berry, co-founder of the Diana Appreciation Society, urged Camilla to make a public commitment about her future. He said: “What Prince Charles wants, Prince Charles usually gets. It is up to Camilla now, if she has any conscience, to reject the idea of becoming Queen.

She was just saying how nice it was that something that’s sustainable could look so beautiful

Alan Titchmarsh quoting the Queen
“It is a pity that the Prince himself does not abdicate since he is equally inappropriate to sit on the British throne. What they did to Diana during her short lifetime is a dreadful indictment of Charles’s lack of moral fibre and Camilla’s ruthless ambition.”
A senior royal aide conceded that whatever the couple’s “intention”, it would be up to the Government to decide what Camilla’s title should be.But he added:“We’re probably looking at another decade at least before he accedes to the throne. We will have to consider what people feel at the time.”

The Prince is banking on the public gradually accepting Camilla, and some opinion polls suggest that support for the marriage has grown. But, as the Daily Express poll shows, there still remains huge opposition among many sections of society.The issue is raised in Queen Camilla, a Channel 4 documentary to be aired on May 31. It will show how Charles’s staff are working to remove all obstacles to the title be given to Camilla. But Clarence House refused to comment on the show until it is aired and even suggested it may not discuss it at all.The Royal Family’s sensitivity over the issue was evident last night when Camilla joined Charles and 15 other members of the family at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.It is one of the rare occasions when the Queen and Camilla attend an engagement together.In the past the royal party splits up and meet at various points but, with the spotlight on the question of succession, their guides ensured the women’s paths never crossed in public.Camilla, who has just returned from a week’s holiday in the Aegean, looked tanned and seemed to shrug off the controversy. Also visiting the exhibition were Prince Philip, Prince Edward, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and the Duke of Kent.Daily Express gardening columnist Alan Titch­marsh met the Queen at a show garden based on sustainability and said afterwards: “She was just saying how nice it was that something that’s sustainable could look so beautiful.”