After a disastrous month for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, during which hostility towards them both has mounted like a tidal wave, there now comes the knockout blow of a poll conducted by Norstat revealing that 67 per cent – more than two thirds of the British people – are opposed to Camilla becoming Queen.
Even more damagingly, a poll conducted by ICM found that 51 per cent now want Prince William to become the next King, with only 22 per cent backing Charles to succeed his mother when she dies.
The fact that these overwhelmingly negative reactions come now, despite a long and intensive campaign by supporters of Charles and Camilla to improve the standing of both, shows how profoundly public opinion has been affected by media coverage of the approaching 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.
In Channel 4’s documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words, the late Princess, filmed privately by her voice coach in 1992 and 1993 after she had just separated from Charles, painfully described the devastation and misery she had been caused by her husband and his married mistress blatantly conducting their adulterous affair behind her back.
Diana revealed that her husband’s unfaithfulness destroyed her feelings of self-worth and contributed to the bulimia from which she suffered.
And that Charles, when challenged by her, merely responded: ‘I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales never to have a mistress’.
Significantly, an ITV documentary in which Diana’s sons, William and Harry, paid warm and emotional tributes to her as ‘the best mum in the world’, made no mention whatsoever of their father.
Should people want Camilla as the next Queen of this country?
It has been argued by her advocates that she has done much to improve Charles and his life. Yet, judging by the polls, people are still far from convinced by her.In Channel 4’s documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words (pictured), Diana revealed that her husband’s unfaithfulness destroyed her feelings of self-worth
The public’s earliest recollections of Camilla were riding out to engage in blood sports, grinning at photographers and announcing: ‘If you’re not careful, I’ll hit you with my bull-whip’.
They remember that after Diana’s death, Camilla displayed such little tact that she allowed herself to be installed as resident Maitresse en Titre in a royal palace at taxpayers’ expense – a palace occupied for 50 years by the beloved Queen Mother, a woman who all her life put the good of her country, the reputation of the monarchy, and the wishes of the people before all else.
In 2005 when it was announced that she and Charles would finally marry, we were told that Camilla would be known as the Duchess of Cornwall, rather than assuming the title of Princess of Wales.
Quite obviously Charles’s advisers feared a public outcry if she was given the rank of the woman she had so ruthlessly supplanted.
We were also told that when Charles became King, Camilla would not take the status of Queen but would be known as the Princess Consort – a fiction which Clarence House is still maintaining up to the present.No matter how hard those surrounding Prince Charles and his second wife may battle to sanitise them, certain truths remain inescapable
This was yet another attempt at damage limitation, undermined when it was officially confirmed that whoever marries the King becomes ipso facto the Queen.
Many people recoil from the prospect of a woman who broke her own marriage vows and then assisted her next husband to break his, being crowned and anointed in Westminster Abbey as ‘a great example of virtue and piety, and a blessing to the kingdom’.
Now come these devastating polls. Statistics, of course, can always be challenged.
But at the end of the day, no matter how hard those surrounding the heir to the throne and his second wife may battle to sanitise them, certain truths remain inescapable.
Camilla wilfully persisted in an adulterous liaison which she knew perfectly well could only result in the destruction of another woman’s marriage.
And Charles, whose cynical observation, ‘Whatever “in love” means’, remains chillingly in the memory, ruined the life of an innocent young girl by marrying her with a lie on his lips, and without telling her that he had a married mistress he had no intention of giving up.
Neither of these things is ever likely to be forgotten or forgiven by the vast majority of the British people.
Article written by: Michael Thornton for DailyMail