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Support for monarchy is at all time high

Charles favourite to succeed to throne

Published:28 May 2012
Fieldwork:12 - 14 May 2012
Keywords:Monarchy, Prince Charles, Prince William, Royal Family
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With Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend, the British public’s support for the country remaining a monarchy is at a record high level according to Ipsos MORI’s special Diamond Jubilee poll. Eight in ten (80%) British adults favour Britain remaining a monarchy compared to 13% that want to see it becoming a republic.

Support for the monarchy is highest among older generations, with almost nine in ten (88%) of those aged 55+ saying Britain should remain a monarchy. Conservative supporters are most likely to be monarchists – 96% prefer Britain to have a monarch rather than become a republic compared to three-quarters (74%) of Labour supporters and 84% of Liberal Democrats.

As the Queen celebrates 60 years on the throne, some attention has recently focussed on who will succeed her. The Ipsos MORI Diamond Jubilee poll shows half (51%) of British adults think Prince Charles should not give up his right to be the next monarch in favour of his eldest son, Prince William, while four in ten (40%) think he should. This represents a shift in favour towards Prince Charles succeeding the Queen since last year’s Royal Wedding.

In April 2011, just before Royal Wedding, the country was split dead even with 46% saying Prince Charles should pass on his right to succeed the Queen to Prince William, while 47% said he should not. The only period when more people thought Prince William should be next in line to the throne was September 1997, days after the death of Princess Diana.

The highest support for Prince William taking the throne after the Queen comes among the youngest age group with around six in ten (57%) 18-24 year olds saying Prince Charles should give up his right. Prince Charles meanwhile enjoys stronger support from older generations.

Simon Atkinson, Assistant Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI said:

“The Queen enters the Diamond Jubilee celebrations with support for the monarchy running at record levels. The public has a less settled view on who should succeed her, although we are now seeing a stronger sense that it should be Charles than we were twelve months ago.”

Technical note


Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,006 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 12-14 May 2012. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
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