Future king Charles heads to Canada on queen's behalf
Published : Monday, 16 May, 2022 at 11:16 AM Count : 458
Prince Charles heads to Canada this week to represent head of state Queen Elizabeth II, with more attention than ever on his future role due to his mother's age and failing health.
Increasingly, every movement of the heir to the throne is attracting greater scrutiny, as the 96-year-old monarch's record-breaking 70-year reign draws to a close.
Last week, Charles, 73, was a last-minute stand-in for the queen at the state opening of the UK parliament, in the clearest sign that his long wait to become king is approaching its end.
His appearance and the queen's absence from the ceremony for the first time in nearly 60 years have prompted a noticeable shift in public opinion towards her position.
A YouGov survey for Times Radio conducted this week suggested that 34 percent of people now believe she should retire, instead of remaining queen for life, up from 25 percent last month.
Just under half (49 percent) said she should remain queen, down 10 points from last month.
At the same time, Charles's stock has risen: 36 percent believe he will make a good king, up four points from last month, the survey of 1,990 people found.
His visit to Canada comes as part of a series by senior royals to some of the 14 Commonwealth countries outside the UK where the queen is also head of state.
But the visits, which have included Platinum Jubilee celebrations, have not gone entirely to plan, particularly in the Caribbean.
There, Charles's eldest son Prince William faced protests about past royal links to slavery, demands for reparations and growing republican sentiment, reports AFP.
His youngest brother, Prince Edward, experienced similar protests, in a sign the global reach of the monarchy that Charles will inherit will likely be much diminished.