It was meant to be Prince Charles' first major step towards taking over the royal throne - the historic moment he took the place of the Queen to lay a wreath during London's Remembrance Day service.
For the first time in her 65-year-reign, the Queen looked on as her eldest son carried out the sacred duty in honour of fallen soldiers, marking a 'new era' for the royal family.
But the significant event has been marred by new calls from the British public to sack Charles as heir to the monarchy, with his approval rating dropping to just 22 per cent.
Instead, there has been unprecedented support for Prince William to step in as the Queen's next successor - leading to a series of crisis meetings in the palace this week.
'At this stage, the Queen is planning a Christmas coronation for William and Kate. Preparations are afoot to announce their rise to the throne by the end of December. The Queen wants to star 2018 in a positive way so they can turn the opinion polls around,' a top palace source reveals.
'The recent opinion polls are a disaster for the monarchy, there are no two ways about it,' says the palace courtier. 'This was the first time the Queen had watched on as another member of the royal family placed the wreath at the Remembrance Day service, and she saw it as the first step in the changing of the guard.
But the outcry from the public and the fact that so many people disapprove of Charles taking over the throne has really set a cat among the pigeons. The Queen has always been nervous of handing the reins to Charles and Camilla - her preferences has always been to make William and Kate the next king and queen, as she really feels they're the future of the monarchy.'
These latest opinion polls reveal that over the past two years support for the monarchy is the lowest it's ever been, and experts claim the lack of support for Charles is a major problem of the Queen.
'The proportion of people who advocate for William to be crowns as the next monarch has reached its highest point since our monarchy tracker began,' James Endersby, managing director of Opinium Research, told The Express.
Now the Queen is 'talking to her advisers on the legalities of moving Prince William to be next in line. It's what she has always wanted to do and now she just needs to make it happen.'
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