Royal Roundup: Britons Prefer Charles Over William as Next King

Good news for Prince Charles. A new poll says that 45 percent of Britons would prefer him to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth, as reigning monarch. That’s a reversal from a poll six years ago when a plurality said the crown should skip a generation and be passed on to Prince William. Today, only 37 percent prefer William. Results of the survey, taken for Prospect Magazine (subscription required), were reported in The Daily Telegraph. Additionally, the royals remain popular. Almost 20 percent wanted to abolish the monarchy in 2005; that figure has now dropped to 13 percent. But age seems to be a factor in how people feel about the House of Windsor. For instance, those under age 40 slightly prefer William to be their next King.

In other royal-related news:

• Charles’s wife, Camilla, is heaping kudos on the next member of the royal family. On a visit to a London floral design school yesterday (March 23), she had fulsome praise for William’s fiancée. “Kate’s a lovely girl,” she said, according to The Daily Express. “We’re very lucky. I’m very much looking forward to the wedding.” Kate has already spent some quality time with her future stepmother-in-law. They had a high-profile lunch last month and Kate went to the ballet with Camilla and Charles last week. Camilla is also reportedly a major adviser to Kate on wedding details.

• New Zealand has not had an easy of time of it lately. Last month, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, the country’s second-largest city. Now the New Zealand Post is recalling its royal wedding stamps. The stamps incorrectly listed William’s birth date as May 21, 1982. He was actually born a month later, on June 21. The erroneous stamps were sold as part of a special commemorative package. Stamps with mistakes often skyrocket in value. Yet New Zealand stamp experts say that’s not the case here. “It might be worth $40 or $50 [U.S. $30 - $37.50],” Steven McLachlan, president of the New Zealand Stamp Collectors Club, told website stuff.co.nz. “It is something they should have got right but they mucked it up.”

• The latest addition to the official wedding china is a loving cup, BBC News reports. For the uninitiated, a loving cup is a two-handled vessel shared by guests on special occasions to symbolize friendship and unity. The cup will be made in a limited edition of 1,000 and costs £125 ($201.50). The Royal Collection website says the cup “bears the couple’s entwined initials in gold and silver surmounted by the coronet of Prince William and the wedding date. Each item is individually decorated and then embellished with several layers of burnished gold and platinum before a final layer of gilding in 22-carat gold is applied by hand.”

• The Kate Middleton tour is ready to make its final stop. Bus tours began last month of sites of Kate’s childhood in Bucklebury, Berkshire. Included were her primary school, the church where she was baptized, Kate and William’s favorite local pub, and even her family’s home. But the tours will end this weekend, BBC News reports. It appears that local sentiment had more to do with the tour’s end than demand. “Local people aren’t that enamored. I think people from abroad were more interested than people in our country,” said a spokeswoman for tour operator Mortons Travel. “We didn’t want to encroach on the privacy of the family.”

• Unlike Kate, few brides have a platoon tending to their looks. The Daily Mail consulted some of those involved in past royal weddings, and came away with a few tips:

· Have a trial run of your make-up before the big day. Take flash and natural light photos to see how you look.

· Do not make any hair color changes close to the wedding. If you’re unhappy, it may be too late to change it.

· If there’s no natural light where you’re putting on your make-up, take the shade off a lamp and use the bare bulb. The light will be harsh, but if it looks good in that light it’ll look good anywhere.

· Sleep on a silk pillow the night before the wedding and your hair will be super shiny when you wake up.