Polls have shown a change in the public support for the Monarchy, and their perception of the Royal Family, following the scandals that The Duke of York has brought to Buckingham Palace.
Various surveys have been conducted in the last week, finding that many thought change was needed within the royal household. The Sun surveyed 1642 people, Sunday Express 2038 adults, and Sunday Times asked 1677 people.
Support for the Monarchy:
Seven in ten believed Britain should retain the Monarchy (the Sun), while 58% of people asked by the Sunday Express’ poll said they thought we should keep the Monarchy.
The Sunday Times’s own research found that two thirds (63%) of those asked thought we should continue with constitutional Monarchy. One in five (19%) thought we should have an elected head of state.
Even after Diana’s death, the peak of anti-Monarchy feeling in the UK has rarely peaked above 20% – see here.
Finally, 59% of those questioned thought the Monarchy ‘needed some improvement’.
Funding and finances:
A large majority believe it is time to cut the money given to the palace, which amounted to £67 million last year (the Sun).
The Sovereign Support Grant is calculated on the profit that the Crown Estate brings in each year – if the money the estate makes drops, The Queen gets less money to support the Royal Family and their duties. It is calculated at 15% of the profit made, although has been increased recently to allow for urgent renovations to be made at Buckingham Palace.
Some 67% say Andrew shouldn’t receive anything from The Queen’s official budget, just 13% believed he should. 44% also thought The Duke and Duchess of Sussex should not be supported, while 38% thought they should (the Sun).
More than half (54%) agreed the time had come for a “slimmed down Royal Family” according to the Sunday Express’ data – which entails retaining just The Monarch, her direct heirs to the throne and their spouses. This seems to mean that, in our current Royal Family, we would keep The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and children. It additionally means that Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis would be not be expected to work for ‘the Firm’ when grown up.
18% thought we should keep the Monarchy as it is, in terms of those working for The Queen, while 11% expressed no preference.
Interestingly, The Queen is not the most popular member of the Royal Family, garnering 80% positive views from those asked. It is Prince William and Prince Harry in joint first, at 81% (YouGov).
Unsurprisingly, however, Prince Andrew is now the least popular Royal, with just just 19% positive rating, sitting in 15th place behind both his daughters.
A question that has often been asked in royal polls is about the succession. 38% of those asked also thought The Duke of Cambridge should succeed next, over his father Prince Charles (36%), while 16% did not want another Monarch after Elizabeth II (Sunday Times). Of course, this would be legally difficulty.
The Prince Andrew saga:
The Savanta ComRes survey for the Sunday Express showed that 60% of those surveyed (a total of 2038 people) thought that the saga with Prince Andrew had damaged the Monarchy. Similarly, 67% of those asked by YouGov for Sky believe his actions in response to the allegations against him have damaged the Monarchy. See the results here.
Just 12% thought it hadn’t been, with the remainder giving no view (Sunday Express).
Further damaging to The Duke of York is that 49% did not believe his interview recollections (Sunday Express), while 51% of 1439 people didn’t believe Andrew with Sky’s data.
Almost three-quarters of those questioned (72%) thought the Duke should go to the US and testify under oath about the Epstein case, if asked (Sunday Express).
Nearly half of those questioned (43%) believed that the charities and organisations who have pulled their support for causes associated with the Duke were right to do so. 41% also agreed that the press’ coverage of Prince Andrew was not unfair (Sunday Express).
A further 51% said they didn’t think Andrew should attend family events, like Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Sunday. 28% believed he should (Sunday Express).
What are your thoughts on these findings?