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Monarchy leaves Canadians deeply split Add to ...

Canadians are divided about whether they want a monarch as head of state, a new poll suggests.

A survey conducted by Angus Reid in advance of next month's visit by the Queen suggests that 33 per cent of Canadians are happy to have a king or queen while 36 per cent would like an elected head of state. One in five respondents said they don't care one way or the other.

Still, half of the Canadians surveyed said they support reopening Canada's constitutional debate to discuss the possibility of replacing the Queen with someone who is elected. One third were opposed.

The poll also suggests that Canadians have three clear favourites in the Royal Family. They are Prince William, who was held in high regard by 70 per cent of respondents the Queen, who was admired by 69 per cent, and Prince Harry, who was given a thumbs up by 63 per cent despite his occasional brushes with controversy.

Prince Philip was given a favourable rating by 48 per cent of those surveyed, Prince Charles was approved by 40 per cent, Kate Middleton by 31 per cent and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, by 24 per cent. Two-in-five Canadians said they hold an unfavourable opinion of both Charles and Camilla.

Sarah Ferguson, who was recently caught in a tabloid sting as she tried to sell access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, was not listed in the survey.

When asked who they would prefer as monarch after the Queen, almost two-in-five respondents say they would prefer to have William as king. Prince Charles was picked by just 22 per cent.

The online survey of 1,005 randomly selected Angus Reid Forum panelists that was conducted May 17 to May 18 is expected to accurately reflect the views of all Canadians within 3.1 percentage points.

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