Many Australians prefer Danish princess as their monarch

More Australians would prefer Australian-born Danish Crown Princess Mary as their next monarch rather than Britain's Prince Charles, but the top choice was Charles' son, Prince William, a survey showed Monday.

Australia is a former British colony and Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II, is its monarch, although many Australians would prefer to sever the constitutional tie by making their country a republic.

Princess Mary, a 33-year-old former Sydney real estate agent born in Tasmania state, has been the toast of Australia and Denmark since the birth of her baby boy on Oct. 15.

An Internet poll conducted after Princess Mary and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, became first-time parents highlights how popular the couple have become in her home country.

Princess Mary and Prince Frederik out-polled Prince Charles and his wife Camilla six to one _ 42 percent to 7 percent _ on the question of who was preferred to become Australia's head of state after Queen Elizabeth. The poll did not specify whether Princess Mary or Prince Frederick would hypothetically be Australia's ruler.

However, Prince Charles' eldest son, Prince William, was favored as the next monarch by 48 percent of the 10,000 respondents to the New Idea/Channel Seven Sunrise poll, conducted by an Australian magazine and a national television program.

The survey found respondents strongly backed Princess Mary's decision to raise her son without round-the-clock nannies, and 91 percent believed she should keep working.

Most Australians also favored naming the child Christian in keeping with a 446-year-old Danish court tradition that has Frederik and Christian as alternating names for kings of Denmark.

Those surveyed also hoped the boy would come to Australia for part of his education. The survey's margin of error was not available, AP reports.

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