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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Britain loves Kate... will the Royals? Mail poll reveals fears Middletons face snobbery at the Palace

By Sam Greenhill

Three quarters of the country are planning to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot on Friday

Kate Middleton’s popularity has soared but the public fear she will suffer snobbery when she joins the Royal Family, a poll for the Daily Mail reveals today.

As they count down to Friday’s wedding, Prince William and his bride will be cheered by an overwhelming surge of popular goodwill, with three quarters of the country planning to watch the ceremony on television.

More than half the public think the wedding will strengthen the monarchy, and support for Kate as the future Queen has leapt dramatically. The findings suggest her dignified behaviour since the engagement in November has been greatly to her credit, with women especially impressed.

But many fear she will suffer snobbery at the palace once she crosses the threshold from commoner to royalty.

And the vast majority think her parents will be increasingly cut out of her new life as Princess Catherine.

Nonetheless the poll, by Harris, shows the young couple can ride a wave of public enthusiasm as they embark on married life.

The euphoria contrasts with popular sentiment in 2005 when Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles. Then, 65 per cent believed their marriage would weaken the monarchy.

Only two per cent think the same about Kate and William, with 51 per cent believing the monarchy will be strengthened and another 47 per cent thinking it will remain as strong as it is now.

Eighty per cent think William would make a better king than his father, and 87 per cent see Kate as a better queen than Camilla.

However, less than half those people questioned thought Charles should step aside to allow William to become the next king.

The Daily Mail commissioned the snapshot of public opinion to test feelings towards William, 28, and Kate, 29. Three out of four of those questioned said they intended to spend at least part of the bank holiday watching the wedding live on television.

In November, less than half the public were convinced it was good for William to marry a commoner – but this has now leapt to an overwhelming majority of 85 per cent.

Only 45 per cent, however, said they think Kate will be accepted as an equal by the other members of the Royal Family, and only 28 per cent think her parents Carole and Michael Middleton will be warmly welcomed by the new in-laws.

According to the poll, the vast majority of Britons think Kate Middleton's parents Michael and Carole will be increasingly cut out of her new life as Princess Catherine

Asked whether Kate would make a good queen, 57 per cent responded yes – a significant jump up from 45 per cent when the same question was put last November when the engagement was announced. The support was particularly strong – 63 per cent – among women.

William would make a good king according to almost three in four people (73 per cent), which has risen from 68 per cent last November. Most people now back scrapping the law which gives males priority in the royal line of succession.

Sixty-two per cent of those questioned said that if William and Kate’s first child is a girl, she should succeed to the throne even if they went on to have a boy.

Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, said: ‘Women like Kate because she is homely, and she’s a woman’s woman.

‘One gets the feeling Kate is a very loyal girl and whatever William does she will be backing him up. She does seem to know instinctively how to behave.’



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