Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Reader’s Comment: Skipping a royal generation would be Diana’s revenge


In response to Jane Kelly: Poundburyland, and why the Queen should hand over to William, not Charles, PierrePrendre wrote:

I fear that taking a holiday from the direct line of succession would be what the French call a ‘bad good idea’ which risks giving republicans live ammunition to play with. Tampering with the hereditary principle can only weaken it for the future by making the succession subject to faction and politics. The monarchy was lucky to survive Edward Vlll’s abdication from both throne and duty, and it wouldn’t survive a similar crisis today. The great virtue of our hereditary monarchy is its stability, precisely what Edward betrayed and what George VI and subsequently the Queen restored with great effort and hard work.

A hereditary monarchy means the quality of whomever you get as king or queen is something of a lottery. Edward Vll was also seen as a dubious proposition to succeed Victoria because of his rackety lifestyle, but he became a popular king. Charles has never been popular with the media, who love to snigger at his eccentricities, but he’s still a serious man. Depriving him of the throne would be Diana’s revenge from beyond the grave, which she doesn’t deserve to achieve, and shouldn’t be inflicted on us.

The probability is that Charles’s kingship will in any case be relatively short so the Middletons will still be quite young when they succeed him. A lot of effort has gone into portraying William as a fresh and exciting prospect as king, but it’s an impression he owes mainly to his wife and the fact that he is Saint Diana’s son. He strikes me as being nerdy and something of a cypher beside the more dynamic Miss Kate. The main thing in his favour is his youth – which is an advantage only if you believe that youth per se is a good thing.
Skipping a generation to give William the crown seems to me to carry more minuses than pluses. We have time to wait for him.

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