Dan Wootton: The public don't want Queen Camilla

Dan Wootton gives his take on the day's top stories.

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Queen Camilla

On the day his late ex-wife Princess Diana would have turned 60 and her sons unveiled a statue in her memory, her spectre still looms large over British public opinion of Prince Charles' new wife.

Bombshell polling for the Daily Express shows that 63.2 per cent of Brits do not want Camilla to become Queen. Just 22.3 per cent think she should and 14.5 per cent don’t know. So many within the royal institution and the media underestimate the impact Diana had on the public. Perhaps this poll will make them realise.

Diana remains the favourite ever royal among Brits, narrowly beating the Queen to the top spot. And 41 per cent of the public still agree with Diana that Charles should be leapfrogged in the line of succession, with the throne immediately passing to his son Prince William.

It’s an uncomfortable conversation, of course, but when Charles married Camilla in 2005 we were told she would be called Princess Consort and not become our Queen even when Charles was crowned King. We now know Charles wants her to become Queen. But with public opposition so high, it’s time for him to be honest about his intentions and allow the debate to take place.

Five years of Covid

I’m becoming increasingly concerned that our so-called Freedom Day later this month might only be temporary.

The Daily Mirror has reported tonight that health officials have drawn up contingency plans for Covid restrictions – including mandatory face masks and social distancing – for the next five winters.

They report: “Ministers could pick which restrictions might be needed for the winter months depending on the scale of infections and whether hospitals were under pressure. “They could also include measures such as working from home temporarily or putting limits on numbers at indoor gatherings.”

Now please remind me what happened to learning to live with Covid in the same way we do seasonal flu? Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid need to take back control from power mad scientists.

Pub Covid amnesty

It’s a cruel and unusual form of punishment to our devastated hospitality industry that ludicrous coronavirus restrictions are going to remain in force this Saturday on what would usually have been their biggest business day of the year, with England taking on Ukraine in the Euros quarter final at 8pm. So I am fully endorsing a call from pub bosses who have called for there to be an amnesty on the red tape and rules on the day.

Remember, at the moment even loud singing in pubs risks a £1,000 fine. As Patrick Dardis, the chief executive of Young’s, said: “We will not be able to meet the demand due to the Freedom Day delay unless the Prime Minister gives dispensation for the next one, two, or – even better – three England games, given 1966 was England’s last success.”

The reality is that most folk are going to be enjoying the game in large groups and denying our cash-starved pubs the opportunity to benefit from such a significant moment is completely unfair.