Prince William of Wales: Can he save the British throne?

When Prince William was still a little boy, everybody predicted he would bypass his father, Charles, the Prince of Wales, for the Kingship. The monarchy, apart from being an institution, is a symbol, a mystical symbol greatly portrayed to be magical that binds people and nation together and needed a monarch who can connect well with the masses. Though Prince Charles is very serious with his future role and slowly winning public support after the death of his first wife, Diana, he still needs a popularity machine running on his side. He already disappointed the public by conducting an extra marital affair with another married woman Camilla Parker Bowles while still married to the late Princess of Wales and even thwarted some supporters when he made his mistress his second wife.

Currently, William outshines his father in popularity, though Buckingham palace officials made it clear that the future of the monarchy did not rely on popularity contest, some royalists acknowledged the irony. The courtiers, whose main responsibility in life is to protect the crown and its heirs, are quite aware how the machine of the popularity poll plays significantly in creating or knocking the next ruler. Partly, the throne relies on public approvals. It was the sticking point of King Edward VIII’s fate on the kingship when in 1936 after the brewing issues of divorce and morality, he voluntarily abdicated. Legally, he could remain King and still marry his twice divorce American lover, Wallis Simpson, but this would lose his subjects’ regard and support.

After the polls result and the commonwealth ministers’ verdict that it could be damaging to the throne if he will proceeds in marriage with Mrs. Simpson whom the British people refused to accept as their Queen, the King, who was once considered as the most famous Prince of Wales in British history, gave up the throne and forced to live in exile with Wallis, whom his family despised and dismissively branded as “Edward’s unholy lover”. They married several months later in a simple wedding ceremony in Paris, France, none of the royal family members attended, although, he wanted to invite his closest cousin, Lord Mountbatten, and his 3 brothers including the recently ascended King, the British government discouraged it, as it might attract another controversy. He was created "Duke of Windsor" by his brother, King George VI.

As a direct successor to the British throne, William carries the heavy burden of duty and tradition and simply being an independent person, he could not just choose what kind of life he would take for he knows what prize he would pay if he failed to please his future subjects. He knows also that the public took his mother’s side during her stormy relationship with Charles and embraced her vulnerabilities, a well-written proof that public fascinations always carry a strong impact in promoting good public image and gaining approvals. It is best to note that the Prince is beginning to realize how important it is to have the support of the masses. His social nature added to his glamour and sex appeal, he can walk through the crowd without being intimidated, though there are reports that privately, William is a shy person and resented the media, he gradually overcome it and become gracious and accommodating in front of the camera.

When he was still a small boy, the role of a monarch terrified him that he confided to his mother he does not want to become a King. He fretted lensmen and paparazzi who tailed him wherever he go. At one point while attending his first dance ball at the age of 14, he was nervous and conscious, he later on recalled the event to his mother: "A lot of girls in the party wanted to kiss me but I didn't do anything because cameras are everywhere"(from the book Prince William: the boy who will be king by Randi Reisfeld). The incident made the teen Prince realized how to be more discreet in public. Today, the boy who was once affectionately called by Diana as Wombat, hugged his future role with dedication. 

He devoted his life with various military trainings and took some royal engagements at times, including charity campaigns which made famous his late mother famous. While waiting his destiny, Buckingham palace officials maintained that the popular prince will not bear any independent noble title at the moment, as this might complicate with his future title as Prince of Wales. He will be continually using his father's geographical name(Wales) in all his official documents because as a royal prince he need not have to use any surname. But when needs arise (to use a surname) like marriage entries, he will have to use his family's name Mountbatten-Windsor.

The divorce of William's parents in 1996 further cemented people's claim for Charles' exclusion in the succession. For the world who adored fairytale stories bombarded by Hans Christian Andersen, Wilhelm & Jacob Grimm et al., it seemed that happy ending is prevalent in the continuation of the monarchy. Now all eyes are set for the 28 year-old Prince who possessed all the qualities of a fairytale ruler. The chaos surrounding the throne weighed heavily on his shoulder, he is expected to uphold the mystique of their existence, so "Can he save the British throne from crumbling?"

According to the powerful British media, the handsome eldest son of Diana has all the making of a good king, he has this beguiling personality that drew people closer to him like a magnet. He inherited his mother's sapphire blue eyes together with the Spencer looks, he is well-educated, having been graduated with flying colors at St. Andrews University in Fife, Scotland with a degree in AB Geography with upper-class honors, because of such rare honor distinction he was awarded with a Scottish Master of Arts degree. He is the only British heir and all Commonwealth of Nations and other realms successor to earn such a highest educational attainment. He passed with excellence at the elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, England in 2006, he earned his wings at the Royal Air Force unit of British military in Scotland and lately, as as Search and Rescue Operation pilot.

Unlike his father, grandmother and great grandfather who received lessons in the palace with private tutors while still young, William matriculated in the nursery school like a commoner. His mother fought hard with the palace rules to rear William like a normal human being so that he has a better understanding of the outside world. Prince William is slowly steering his future destiny to a different environment in response to the call of times. With the never-ending dilemma on whether the British people would truly accept the future reign of CHARLES III, public opinion in the past revealed that Her Majesty should appoint Prince William as her successor. The survival of the monarchy partly relies on public approvals, the firm (Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh’s term for the monarchy) needed somebody who is acceptable to the British public. Prince William has it all. The only precaution he would take is to avoid the marriage disaster his parents gone through.

He is the current link to the old royal houses of Europe through his father's ancestors Queen Victoria of Britain, King Christian IX of Denmark, Emperor Nicholas I of Russia and through his mother's ancestors King Charles II of Britain and King Henry IV of France and Napoleon Bonaparte. The current crown heads of Europe are all his relatives: King Albert II of Belgium, Queen Magrethe II of Denmark, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden, King Harald V of Norway, King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Queen Sophia, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Prince Hans of Leichtenstein and Prince Albert of Monaco. He is also related to at least 2 US presidents: George Washington and George W. Bush through his maternal ancestor, the American billionaire Frances Work, in addition to that his maternal grand father, the late Earl Spencer, was a distant cousin of British war hero and Prime Minister Winston Churchill through their common ancestor the Duke of Marlborough.

With his remarkable pedigree coupled with his charm and sex appeal, there's no doubt that the future reigns of King William V will be a celebration of pomp, pageantry and magic with a golden touch of a modern fairy tale. But while waiting his destiny, the British throne is walking a tightrope of intrigues and controversies. Since the death of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother, the monarchy seems lost its luster and popularity and the once revered crown is facing a difficult period of winning back the trust and adulation of the subjects. British subjects even voiced out their desire for the changing of their constitution and republicans seem are growing in numbers. The question is, can the throne survive? how long will it take before the monarchy revive its magic to the public? What will be the next move of the palace to take back the public fascination they’ve lost. Now, it is time for Prince William to take the center stage for the fairytale to continue.

His story has just began…

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