Canadians, it seems, are not particularly enamoured of Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor. According to an Angus Reid survey, 60 percent of us do not want Charles III as head of state and over half no longer want their country to continue as a constitutional monarchy at all.
They don’t much care for his missus either. Three in five don’t want a queen of any sort, and two-thirds don’t want Camilla as Queen Consort even if that was Elizabeth II’s wish. After all, real queens have roman numerals after their names.
The other trappings of monarchy are about as popular. Two-thirds of Canadiana oppose swearing an oath to the King or singing “God Save the King” at official ceremonies, and three-fifths don’t want to see Charles grizzled head on their money.
Charles has been something of a record-setting royal. He was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, standing ready for 70 of his 73 years. He is the oldest monarch ever to assume the throne. And he was the only future king married to a divorced woman.
Personally, I have always found him to be a decent sort. He has his eccentricities, but then he’s English, so he’s entitled. He is a strong environmentalist and fighter of climate change, and that’s all good.
As for that Diana thing, well, everybody makes mistakes. The fairy tale wife was replaced by a wife with a fairy tale name.
Given time, it’s possible that Canadians will warm to Charles, but I doubt it. The sentiments are drifting fairly steadily the other way. Even William, who has more fans than his father, would have a challenge in winning us over.
I wouldn’t be sorry to see the end of it. Having a foreign, unelected head of state chosen by birthright rather than merit seems a trifle odd if not juvenile for a mature democracy. But about that constitution.