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Three quarters of Britons think royal baby will be king: poll

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Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show off Prince George on July 23, 2013. Almost three quarters of Britons think the baby will be king and the country will not opt for a republic before his turn arrives. (AFP/File)

Almost three quarters of Britons think newborn Prince George will be king and the country will not opt for a republic before his turn arrives, a poll published Saturday said.

Some 74 percent believe baby George, born Monday, will take the throne to which he is third in line, The ComRes poll for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper found.

The poll appears to represent a surge in confidence in the royal family: ComRes found in 2011 that 57 percent thought there would still be a monarch in 50 years.

In the latest poll, only 9 percent thought Britain would abolish its monarchy to become a republic before George accedes to the throne.

Baby George has been the subject of a media frenzy, with news channels offering wall-to-wall coverage in the days surrounding his birth.

He is the first child of Prince William and wife Catherine, whose spectacular wedding in 2011 helped to renew the country's affection for a monarchy tarnished by scandals during the late 20th century.

Some 66 percent told pollsters they thought Britain was better off as a monarchy, with 17 percent favouring ditching the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth II, 87, was the most popular royal, with 26 percent of Britons citing her as their favourite.

After the queen came second in line to the throne William, 31, his brother Harry, 28, and then glamorous Catherine, the former Kate Middleton.

But heir to the throne Prince Charles, who lost favour during his public split with princess Diana and is perceived as meddling in government affairs, was the favourite of just four percent of respondents.

Some 43 percent thought the ??36.1 million ($55.5 million, 41.8 million euros) that taxpayers spend each year on the royals, excluding the cost of security, was good value for money, but 40 percent said it was not.

Anti-monarchists in Britain are spearheaded by pressure group Republic, which launched an online campaign under the hashtag #bornequal to coincide with George's birth.

But it has failed to win many new converts, with republicans making up about 15 percent of Britons for the past ten years, according to polls.

The queen is currently head of state in another 15 Commonwealth realms as well as Britain.

ComRes interviewed 2,005 British adults online on 24 and 25 July 2013, with the data then weighted to be representative of all Britons aged 18 and over.