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‘William Isn’t Just Popular, He Is The Steely Power Behind The Throne’ – NICHOLAS PYKE On How ‘Wills’ Has Grown

‘William Isn't Just Popular, He Is The Steely Power Behind The Throne’ - NICHOLAS PYKE On How 'Wills' Has Grown

A significant 41 percent of us now say it should have been the Prince of Wales who took over as king a year ago, rather than Charles, a sharp increase from the 35 percent who took that view six months ago.

Only 43 percent remain with Charles, meaning his lead over demand has fallen from 15 percentage points to just two.

Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of the public want Charles and Camilla to hand over power and responsibility to William and Catherine.

That’s not because there are many signs of dissatisfaction with the king’s first year on the throne. That’s not the point.

Instead, we see a huge show of trust for his son and heir.

Some try to call Charles a “caretaker king,” which is neither entirely accurate nor fair. There is much that he wants to achieve – and will achieve – as monarch in the coming years. This is his time.

But as the king’s 75th birthday approaches this fall, it’s inevitable that some will begin to look to a future beyond Charles — a future with King William and Queen Catherine at the helm.

Their evolving profile is no coincidence. The Welsh have employed a skillful media strategy, for example using an in-house videographer to broadcast web-friendly clips as they tour the country.

In fact, the smile captured by the camera is genuine.

Once seen as a timid and angry young man, William has grown into a warm and approachable figure, whether that means making self-deprecating jokes with teenagers or accepting punches from Gazza with good grace.

The affection between father and son as William paid tribute was one of the most moving moments of the coronation.

Nowadays we see a lot of the family man: the responsible husband and father of three charming children.

We’ve seen William the action man, aided by artful shots of sailing and abseiling – even as he is (sometimes) bested by the sporty Kate in their impromptu head-to-head challenges.

But what our poll does not show, and cannot show, is the influence the Prince of Wales already exerts behind the scenes.

Groomed in statesmanship from an early age by his father and late grandmother, apparently to the chagrin of his younger brother, William has long been a force in the monarchy.

His voice is second only to that of his father, the King, and he has definitely made himself heard.

William has adopted a remarkably strict attitude when it comes to dealing with the likes of his disgraced Uncle Andrew and the wayward Harry.

So, to William the hunk and family man we can add William the Enforcer – and William the King in Waiting.

As things stand, there is little doubt that he will soon replace Andrew at Royal Lodge, the Queen Mother’s Georgian country home in Windsor Great Park, acquiring a family home befitting his status.

Of course, William has had advantages compared to his younger brother, not least a clear place in the scheme of things.

He is also extremely wealthy in his own right thanks to the approximately £20 million he receives annually from the Duchy of Cornwall.

William has the support of a woman who seems to do everything she can to ensure that his life runs smoothly. There are few distractions. And whatever distraction there may be, he seems to be swept aside.

There is little doubt that as William takes on more tasks, he will be ably assisted by Catherine and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Edward and Sophie.

It will still be a heavy burden.

It’s ironic and perhaps sad that the person William really needs by his side to share the burden is the younger brother who once enjoyed stratospheric poll numbers himself but now lives in California.



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