Public support for the monarchy falls to record low
New research from the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) has revealed public support for the monarchy has tumbled to a record low.
According to the data collected for this year’s British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA) 29% of those quizzed said the monarchy was ‘very important’, 26% said it was ‘quite important’, 20% said it was ‘not very important’ and 25% said it was ‘not at all important / abolish’.
The view that the monarchy is ‘very important’ has dropped to the lowest percentage since the study began in 1983.
This latest study reflects a longer-term trend of declining support for the monarchy despite a positive spike last year which coincided with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Data was also collected in the immediate aftermath of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Last year thirty-eight percent said the monarchy is ‘very important’, 24% said it was ‘quite important’, 15% said it was ‘not very important’ and 20% said it was ‘not at all important / abolish’.
Last year’s figures saw an increase of seven points in the number of people that said the monarchy is ‘very/quite important’ from 2021, and was the first increase since 2012.
There is also consistent trend that younger people are less likely than older people to say it is ‘very important’ that Britain has a monarchy.
Twelve percent of 18–34-year-olds view the monarchy as ‘very important’ compared to 42% of the 55+ age group.
Guy Goodwin, Chief Executive at the National Centre for Social Research said: “NatCen has been collecting data on public attitudes towards the monarchy for 40 years. Those who think it is very important for Britain to have a monarchy is at its lowest point since we have collected this information.
“Whilst we are observing a downward trend in support for the monarchy, it is clear from the data that important national events and celebrations, such as jubilees, marriages and births, have a clear and positive effect on society’s views towards the monarchy.
“Throughout the 2010s, we saw an increase in support for Britain to continue to have a monarchy, which coincided with the marriage of HRH The Prince of Wales and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Mr Goodwin added: “The majority of the public still support the royal family, and whilst support tends to be more amongst those aged 55 and over, the challenge going forward will be for the monarchy to deliver its relevance and appeal to a younger generation to maintain this support.”
The full wording for the question asked about the monarchy on the BSA survey is, “How important or unimportant do you think it is for Britain to continue to have a monarchy…very important, quite important, not very important, not at all important, or, do you think the monarchy should be abolished?”
This same question was asked of 2,410 respondents on the NatCen Panel between 12 January and 12 February 2023. Participants on the NatCen Panel are made up of a representative sample of individuals who have previously taken part in the BSA surveys.
A survey published last week found more than half of those quizzed did not think the King’s coronation should be funded by the UK Government.
The YouGov survey, carried out just over two weeks before Charles and the Queen Consort are set to be crowned, found 51% of adults questioned believe the ceremony should not be funded by the Government.
Almost a third – 32% – said it should, while around 18% did not know.
The King’s coronation is estimated to cost up to £100 million – and it falls to taxpayers to foot the bill.
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