Daily Express

Charles and Camilla not met with the same enthusiasm as the late Queen as popularity wains

Daily Express logo Daily Express 23.06.2023 18:24:30 Rhiannon Du Cann
Charles Camilla

King Charles and Queen Camilla did not receive the "same enthusiastic cheers" the late Queen Elizabeth would at Ascot, a royal commentator has said.

The couple took part in the carriage parade at the racecourse, the first Royal Ascot held since the Queen's death in September of last year.

Ascot was a highlight of Queen Elizabeth's royal calendar as she had a lifelong love of horses and horseracing, having been given a Shetland pony called Peggy by her grandfather George V when she was just four years.

The new Monarch has now had to fill his mother's shoes - "a hard act to follow" - at an event she relished.

But Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer, speaking on the Royal Round Up, said Ascot did not quite have "the same buzz" as when the late Queen would be in attendance.

Speaking live from Ascot Racecourse on Friday, he said: "In so many respects, Elizabeth II is a hard act to follow and racing, as everybody knows, was her real passion.

"I think it's probably fair to say that King Charles and Queen Camilla don't quite have the same obsession with the sport that she had but they've really got the bug for it.

"If I'm being truly frank about it - I suppose you have to qualify things, I have been coming since 2004 or 2005 something like that... - but there was this feeling at the start of the week that there wasn't quite the same buzz about it."

"When the royal carriages went down the straight mile, as they call it, and the crowd saw them, there were cheers but not quite the same enthusiastic cheers as when the Queen was there."

Royal Round Up host Pandora Forsyth - who attended Ascot on Wednesday - similarly noticed the crowds' indifference to their new King and Queen.

She said: "I was in Queen Anne's closure and they came round. When it used to be the Queen - I was there when the Queen was alive - everyone would stop.

"But it didn't seem from my perspective that everyone was stopping their conversation. They were intrigued but they didn't hang around for it."

The news comes as YouGov polling has revealed that the King's popularity has dipped eight months since he took to the throne following the Queen's death in September.

Six in ten, or 62 percent have a positive view of the King, with his net favourability standing at +32, lower than when he came to the throne it stood at +48. However, this is an improvement compared to April when it stood at +26.

Camilla came behind her husband of 18 years. Her favourability fell to +4, a five-point decrease from April. Although, it is an improvement from when YouGov first began recording her popularity in 2011 when it stood at -15.

Despite that, Charles's big win "transformed things", Mr Palmer said. He recalled how there was "such a buzz" at Ascot that day with the crowd going "absolutely wild" when the King and Queen's horse, Desert Hero, won the King George V race.

The King and Queen secured a win following two losses, a significant moment as it was Charles's first at Ascot as Monarch.

Charles and Camilla were visibly moved by the win with Charles appearing to well up while in the royal box. Zara Tindall told ITV that the moment was "bittersweet" for the King and Camilla.

Princess Anne's daughter said: "It's bittersweet to think how proud and excited the Queen would have been. To have a winner for Charles and Camilla and to keep that dream alive. And besides all that, what a race!"

The couple then headed to the winners' enclosure to congratulate jockey Tom Marquand and show their gratitude to trainer William Haggas.

During the Queen's 70-year-long reign, she had just 24 winners at Ascot. Her first win came shortly after she was crowned in 1953, a little over a fortnight after her Coronation.

Charles is now "mirroring" his mother, Mr Palmer said, adding: "To get [a win] in the first year of his reign effectively is pretty good going."

vendredi 23 juin 2023 21:24:30 Categories: Daily Express

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