In the past week, two separate surveys, including our weekly poll for The Sunday Times, have gauged the public’s response to the royal engagement, finding that although just as many are indifferent as are pleased by the announcement and feel the cost of the wedding should be funded by Prince Charles himself as opposed to the taxpayer, groom-to-be Prince William has still seen a surge in popularity among a largely royalist nation.
The results for The Sunday Times show that the media furore following the announcement of the royal engagement last week is only partly mirrored by public interest, especially when it comes to cost.
- 48% are pleased by the announcement
- 48% are indifferent
- 18% think the Queen should pay for the bulk of the costs of the wedding from the civil list
- 69% think Prince Charles should pay from his income from the Duchy of Cornwall
- 5% think the money should come from the taxpayer.
- 50% favour a more modest ceremony than the large state wedding held for Charles and Diana
- 33%, however, think the couple should have a large state wedding
- 46% would like it to be held in either St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey
- 12% would like it held in the more modest location of St George’s Chapel in Windsor
- 7% would like it held somewhere else (while 36% don’t know).
Our poll has also tracked a boost in the public opinion towards Prince William in the past eight years.
In November 2002, we asked the public who should succeed the Queen when she dies or abdicates the throne:
- 48% favoured Prince Charles
- 28% favoured Prince William.
When we asked the same question last week, we found that Prince William’s support had risen as his father’s had dropped.
- 38% favoured Prince Charles
- 41% favoured Prince William.
Our Sunday Times poll asked who would make the better King of the father and son:
- 15% favoured Prince Charles
- 56% favoured Prince William
- 7% said neither (and 22% didn’t know).
Similarly, British public opinion looks largely Royalist:
- 68% would prefer to keep the monarchy
- While 16% would prefer Britain to become a republic.