Watch CBSN Live

Could Prince William Bypass Charles for Throne?

One undeniable result of the royal wedding announcement of Prince William and Katherine Middleton has been a surge in the popularity of Prince William.

CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports that this spike has led to more speculation about whether William -- and not his father, Prince Charles -- should be the next monarch.

Two recent opinion polls, Phillips reported, say people believe William would make a better monarch. Well, Phillips said, it seems the palace may be now trying to knock that idea on the head right now.

From the time he was a child, through his teen-age heart-throb years, to dashing officer with future bride by his side, Prince William has always occupied a warm spot in British public opinion.

It was an affection enhanced by the sympathy he received at the time of his mother's unexpected death.

And it's in some contrast to the public image enjoyed by his father, who has blown so lukewarm and cold over the years that opinion polls have consistently shown William would be a more popular next king than his father, and that the succession should skip a generation.

But, Phillips said, "Don't hold your breath."

Phillips noted nameless Palace sources have been quoted as saying William wants to quash any speculation that his father won't be the next monarch.

President Obama May Not Attend Royal Wedding
What's in the Stars for William and Kate?
William, Kate Said to Be "Over the Moon" Happy
Royals to Wed April 29 in Westminster Abbey
Exclusive: William Kept Royal Engagement Secret from Staff
Photos: Royal Engagement Frenzy
Photos: Prince William and Kate Middleton
Photos: Kate Middleton

But, Phillips said, William reportedly has no desire to "climb the ladder of kingship prematurely."

Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty Magazine, said, "Prince William would be deeply embarrassed if he was put in the role of kingship ahead of his father. Because that is what his father has worked towards. So it won't happen."

But the 84-year-old Queen -- who returns from a visit to the Gulf region -- is still apparently in excellent health. There does not seem to be any urgency in discussing who will succeed her.

But Phillips took a moment to speculate further, saying Prince Harry could bring his on and off girlfriend Chelsy Davy to his brother's wedding.
Phillips added, "William will be hoping his popularity will help promote England's bid to host the World Cup of Soccer in 2018. He's due to travel to Zurich later this week with other members of the English bid, including David Beckham. We'll see if the football top brass around the world - the soccer leadership -- are as susceptible to celebrity as everybody else seems to be."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue