Canada

Canadians apathetic about Prince Charles: poll

Just days ahead of a visit to Canada by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Canadians appear less than excited about the first-in-line to the crown.

Just days ahead of a visit to Canada by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Canadians appear less than excited about the first-in-line to the crown.

According to a recent poll prepared by Navigator — a Toronto-based polling, consulting and communications firm — and obtained by CBC News, Charles has an image problem.

More than 47 per cent of those polled disagreed that the prince has a vision for the future. Asked if they felt Charles was ahead of his time, only a quarter of respondents agreed, while almost 64 per cent disagreed.

Commissioned by Canadian friends of the Royal Family, the survey was based on a 41-question poll conducted in August. The survey included 1,405 respondents and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 95 per cent of the time. The poll screened out people under the age of 24.

Charles's image issues may extend from some general negative perceptions about the monarchy.

While about 80 per cent of respondents agreed that the monarchy had an important place in Canada's history, a majority also felt it was out of step with the times. More than 60 per cent felt that a constitutional monarchy was outdated.

An editor of Britain's Daily Telegraph said the polling numbers paint a picture of apathy in Canada that will surprise the British.

"This is devastating, truly devastating for the Prince of Wales and he'll be very upset by it," said Andrew Pierce, assistant editor of the newspaper, "and her majesty will be very disappointed too."

"If people are indifferent to the monarchy, the Queen and Prince of Wales, it's finished," he added."

Despite the low polling numbers, there may be a possible silver lining in the results. In its report, Navigator suggests that a majority of Canadians expect their head of state to visit frequently, and they appreciate a connection to the military and the ability to speak in French.

Charles, Navigator said, meets those criteria.

Charles and his wife are slated to spend 10 days in Canada in early November. The visit, their first as a married couple, will include stops in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. They are scheduled to visit 12 cities and communities from Nov. 2 to Nov. 12.

Charles has visited Canada 15 times, most recently in the spring of 2001.

The Queen and Prince Philip are scheduled to visit Canada in 2010. Their last visit here was in 2005.