What does the nation really think about the future of our monarchy?

With the passing of Elizabeth II, what is our relationship with the monarchy and the new King?

That was the question I hoped to answer as I travelled the length of the land for our documentary My King, My Country?

And I was as much seeking an answer from myself as I was from the rest of the kingdom.

Growing up in southwest Scotland I really didn't have much of a relationship with the monarchy; partly, I presume, because of the distance between Buck House (as it is sometimes known in newsrooms) and Ayr; partly, because I really didn't think about them that much.

I certainly was aware of their existence - I may have been in the kids' room on Christmas Day but I knew my older relatives were next door watching the Queen deliver her message.

Later in life, the drama and tragedy of Princess Diana's life and passing were obviously topics of conversation with friends and family.

But I didn't feel the sense of loss that others clearly did at her passing, again most likely for the reasons mentioned above.

And while as an adult and a journalist (some will disagree with either or both of those descriptions) I've been tasked with reporting on "royal events", most recently of course presenting aspects of our coverage of the Queen's death, actively thinking about the Royal Family and its members, its institutions and practices, was a rarity.

Then I spent a month on the road thinking about little else.

Others have spent far longer.

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'This is not appropriate in a democratic society'

"Well, I've always been opposed to the monarchy," says Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-monarchy campaign group Republic.

"I remember I was 12 years old the year Andrew and Sarah Ferguson got married. And I objected to the idea of having to sit in the classroom and watch the wedding.

"And as I got older, it just made more sense that this is not appropriate in a democratic society."

And there are more people who agree with Graham in Scotland than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.

I travelled to Edinburgh to speak to Tommy Sheppard, an SNP MP and prominent republican north of Gretna Green. In something of an irony, his constituency has not one but three royal palaces within it.

In the shadow of Craigmillar Castle, best known for its association with the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots, he explained his antipathy.

"I mean, I think it's an anachronism," he told me. "It's a relic of bygone days that has no place in a modern democratic constitution, to be honest.

"You know, the question is, can we do better? And I think we can do better."

For Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, there is an almost visceral dislike of both the institution and its figureheads.

He said: "It is entirely unreasonable to justify this almost exclusively white family. And we saw it when they put a black woman in the family because it is chaos.

"But how can we possibly justify this family being the representative not just of Britain, but of 13 other countries… which are almost exclusively black and brown?

"What that does psychically, what that does emotionally, is to put whiteness on a pedestal. That's the role. So if you're serious about it, you have to say we have to abandon this role."

The level of affection for Charles and Camilla was a surprise

Yet for every Graham, Tommy and Kehinde, the clear majority of those who spoke to me around the country were far more positive about the monarchy as an institution.

The level of affection for the Queen was not a surprise. The level of affection for Charles and Camilla certainly was.

Take Kathy Lette, Aussie funny woman and self-proclaimed republican herself. She has known them both pretty well for years, and has not a bad word to say.

"Well, you take people as you find them," purrs Kathy. "You know, princes are supposed to be charming and he is charming.

"And also, I think he was so prescient. I mean, he was way ahead of his time on all those environmental issues, which I can connect with him on that big time.

"So, you know, you can't help liking them. I would say Charles's charm is more disarming than a UN peacekeeping force."

And make no mistake, Kathy is not alone in her view.

At every event to which Republic sent demonstrators, they were outnumbered by hundreds to one.

They spoke of feeling a personal connection to both King and crown; the outpouring of sympathy and emotion towards Charles, both in the immediate aftermath of his mother's death and on every public appearance since, is unmissable.

Take the residents of Nansleden, Charles's pet housing project in Cornwall.

It may all feel a little bit Truman Show to the cynical journalistic outsider with its perfect pastel-coloured houses, but they truly love living there.

It's a similar tale in my own part of the world, where Charles's saving of Dumfries House has been warmly welcomed by locals (many of whom, including some I know, you'd hardly describe as arch monarchists).

I will admit that the Duchy of Cornwall's relationship with the Isles of Scilly did give me pause; the amounts of money being made from what are essentially feudal arrangements merits at the bare minimum wider knowledge and discussion.

So too the ability of the monarchy to intervene in law-making that directly affects their financial interests.

But as I type this, while the country feels like it is about to begin a proper conversation about the future of the monarchy - and the news that the public will be asked to swear an oath of fealty has prompted a furious reaction from far more than the usual suspects - it is clear there remains a majority in favour of the institution persisting.

As for me… well, I never quite got around to answering that question for myself.

The privilege of being a broadcast journalist is never having to make your mind up on a topic - publicly, at least.

Yet the privileges of being royal, of being King, are of a different order.

And for all that there is a clear majority in favour of the institution, I suspect that the number for whom that privilege sits uneasily is growing. And growing rapidly.