Half of UK wants Prince Charles to stand aside in favour of William
Nearly half of the people in the UK believe the Prince of Wales ought to step aside in favour of his eldest son, a poll revealed today.
The figures, published as the country prepares for a series of major events to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, show the scale of support for the idea that the succession should skip a generation to the Duke of Cambridge.
The Duke and his wife are taking a central role at a service to celebrate the Queen's 60 years on the throne and the poll demonstrates how their burgeoning popularity has led many in Britain to want William to be the next head of state.
It shows the public to be evenly split about the idea of Charles stepping aside when the time comes - with 42% agreeing that he should, 44% disagreeing, and 14% saying they did not know.
The ComRes poll, for The Independent, also found that younger generations were more likely to favour the Duke of Cambridge as the next king, with 53% of those aged 18 to 34 agreeing his father should make way for him, compared with 38% of those aged 35 and over.
Labour supporters were less sympathetic to the idea of Charles succeeding to the throne, with 52% of people who voted for the party in 2010 agreeing he should step aside, compared with 35% of Conservative supporters and 34% of Liberal Democrats.
poll showed that the Prince of Wales had failed to win over doubters in the 18 months since a previous poll in November 2010 showed 42% wanted him to make way for William and 41% disagreed.
It comes as ministers reportedly expressed private fears that Charles will be too eager to interfere in the business of Government if he becomes King.
His habit of sending long, handwritten letters on pet subjects such as planning, farming, GM foods and human rights have become notorious in Whitehall.
One minister told The Independent: "He has not caught up with the modern constitutional settlement... He wants to talk things through in very great detail on the issues he cares about.
"He gets upset if you turn up two minutes late for a meeting."
A senior civil servant said: "People talk about Prince Charles firing off a letter about planning or farming or whatever.
"When it arrives, you have to jump to it and take care how you respond. But people also have a bit of a laugh about it and joke: 'You'll never guess what Charles has written about this time'."