It seems Netflix's The Crown may have had a bigger sway over public opinion than once perceived. Voters in a new poll said they would prefer Prince William — who is second in line to the throne and Queen Elizabeth II's grandson — for King over his father, Prince Charles, who is next in line.
The Duke of Cambridge's popularity has risen two percent since June compared to the Duke of Wales, whose popularity as King dropped by five percent in the last five months. YouGov shared their findings on Twitter on Tuesday, December 15.
Despite the public's preference, Prince Charles, 71, is next in line to the throne. Royal commentator Robert Jobson recently claimed that he "firmly" believes Her Majesty will hand over her crown to Charles after her 95th birthday in April.
While speaking to Jobson on True Royalty's Royal Beat program, royal reporter Jack Royston agreed with Jobson but said it would be a hard decision for the monarch. "I think she won't want to, but realistically she will get to a point where she has handed over everything to Charles," Royston speculated, "and then how do you look your son in the eye and tell him he is not going to be King?"
Charles' popularity has tanked since the controversial season four of The Crown debuted. The latest episodes follow Prince Charles' relationship with Princess Diana and his infamous affair with Camilla Parker Bowles — his now-wife. Charles and Camilla tied the knot eight years after the late princess tragically died in a car accident. While William and Prince Harry's parents' relationship ended over 25 years ago, their romance remains a cultural obsession.
The new season has caused an uproar, with royal loyalists claiming the show depicted Charles in an inaccurate and false light for entertainment and monetary gain. British culture secretary Oliver Dowden even urged Netflix to add some form of a disclaimer, labeling The Crown fiction and not historically accurate. Netflix has since refused to add a disclaimer, as the show is clearly labeled as a "drama."
Royal insiders previously shared their frustration with Netflix's portrayal of The Crown characters, who are based on real royal family members. "There is no sense of telling carefully nuanced stories — it's all very two-dimensional. This is trolling with a Hollywood budget," a source told the Daily Mail. "The public shouldn't be fooled into thinking this is an accurate portrayal of what really happened."
Charles' pals even chimed in to shame the media company and their exploitation of the royals' relationships. "In this case, it's dragging up things that happened during very difficult times 25 or 30 years ago without a thought for anyone's feelings," another source said. "That isn't right or fair, particularly when so many of the things being depicted don’t represent the truth."
The public possibly favored Prince William over Charles, as William has remained the least scandalous member of the royal family within the past year. The 38-year-old has kept his head down while his younger brother, Harry, made headlines for stepping away from his senior royal duties earlier this year.