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Former BBC royal correspondent Christopher Lee said Prince William and Kate’s eldest child George, who is third-in-line to the throne, will never wear the crown for a variety of reasons. He argued the popularity of the monarchy is largely down to Queen Elizabeth II herself, her longevity and her air of mystery. Her successor Prince Charles is far less popular, due to his reputation around his infidelity and the general treatment of the beloved Princess Diana.
His wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was first introduced to the public by her scandalous affair with the prince and so, to this day, struggles with being one of the least popular royals.
Therefore, Mr Lee argued, while polling indicates the monarchy is still generally supported, this is only because people are not disentangling the Queen from The Firm itself.
By this logic, when the Queen dies and Charles takes over, the popularity for the concept of monarchy will fall significantly.
The expert wrote: “Voting for a monarchy is supporting an institution. Voting for the Sovereign is quite a different X-factor.
“The Sovereign is a celebrity and celebrity is everything.
Prince George, seven, will never be King according to a royal expert
Charles and Camilla are less popular than the Queen
“The Queen is probably among the top ten brand images in the world.
“Oddly, in spite of general perceptions, the world has only a superficial view of the Queen, unlike her children and grandchildren who are gossip fodder ‒ two open adulterers, two sons of a serial adulterer.
“This is the very stuff of the British monarchy. The Queen is different.”
He added that inevitable changes within “other great institutions” will naturally lead people to question the place of the monarchy.
There has already been significant House of Lords reform and there may be more on the cards.
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In other constitutional reform, there are continued efforts to push for a more representative voting system and among such campaigners there is often a feeling that the monarchy is undemocratic.
What’s more, the country is becoming increasingly secular, and Mr Lee claimed that eventually the Church of England will become disestablished from parliamentary control and the monarch, as Supreme Governor of the Church, will lose an instrument of state.
Then, there is the role of the monarch and the Commonwealth, which he argued is in decline.
As the years go by, more states are removing the British monarch as their head of state, with Barbados due to do so this year.
Mr Lee posited that when the Queen dies there will be a surge in republicanism in key Commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia, potentially causing a domino effect.
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He concluded: “The monarch’s symbolic role within that association of a quarter of the world’s states will be reduced.”
Finally, he explained how the role of the Royal Family as a whole is being increasingly scrutinised.
While royals in history were considered beyond reproach, the press and public seem more than happy to criticise any member for their behaviour.
In particular of course, the scandal of Prince Andrew and his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, along with accusations of his own sexual impropriety, have led to questions being asked about the role of the wider family.
Mr Lee then focused on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge specifically.
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He claimed that, while they are now more appealing to younger people, by the time William takes the throne he will at least by middle-aged, if not old, and perhaps their image of being ‘a breath of fresh air’ will have ebbed away.
On their son Prince George, he wrote: “On similar actuarial evidence, George could be well into his sixties before crowning ‒ certainly 60 years from now.
“Here is the earth in the debate over royalty’s future.”
Mr Lee concluded in his 2013 New Statesman article that the modern world is a rapidly changing one, where institutions that previously relied on monarchy are now adapting, changing or disappearing.
He wrote: “During the next 60 years that national identity and what matters to it will undergo the most radical change of all.
“The monarchy will simply go out on the ebb of that identity change.
“When it does, the tide will not turn in its favour.
“The monarchy will have served its purpose and there will be no crown, even a hollow one, for George to be impatient to wear.”
— to www.express.co.uk