Kate Middleton's baby 'means Charles should step aside'
Prince Charles should give up his claim to throne now another heir is on the way, says historian
PRINCE CHARLES should stand aside following news of Kate Middleton's pregnancy because three heirs to the throne – Charles, William and the new baby - will be "one too many", a royal historian says.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Michael Thornton says the succession should "skip a generation" pass to William. Charles is 64, but looks and acts older, says Thornton, describing him as "a man prone to self-pity and faltering self-esteem".
Thornton adds: "His behaviour in recent years has bordered on the unconstitutional. His bombardment of government minister with interfering and meddlesome letters … has become a barely suppressed political scandal that threatens serious damage to the monarchy".
If the Queen lives another ten years, as she shows every indication of doing, Charles will be an old man when he finally takes the throne. That would be the "last thing the monarchy needs" if it is to maintain its relevance in a rapidly changing world, says Thornton.
The historian continues to pile pressure on Charles by pointing out that he and his wife Camilla do not enjoy the popularity of either the Queen and Prince Philip or William and Kate.
Thornton concedes that abdication is a "taboo word" in the House of Windsor since Edward VIII turned his back on the throne in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. But he says standing aside for the good of the monarchy has a "clear and persuasive precedent" among Europe's royal houses.
Thornton's provocative piece got short shrift on Twitter where a user called Matthew Corner called it "shameful" because "no-one [but Charles] is more experienced or has a more legitimate claim".
The anti-monarchy organisation Republic applauded Thornton's proposal, but tweeted that Charles is unlikely to take his advice "because that's not how a hereditary monarchy works". ·