Polls: The Diamond Jubilee

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
May 31, 2012, 1:57 PM GMT+0

Brits very supportive of monarchy; over half will watch Thames flotilla; life worse now than 1952

YouGov polling on monarchy and the Diamond Jubilee has found strong British support for the Royal Family in general, and significant numbers who say they are planning to watch Sunday's Thames Flotilla or celebrate the event at a street party.

But while feeling towards the monarchy is cheerful, when it comes to whether we believe that Britain as a country has improved in the 60 years since the Queen ascended to the throne, the country's feeling is considerably more miserable.

  • The British public is very supportive of the institution of monarchy and welcomes it over having an elected head of state
  • Britons see Queen Elizabeth II as one of Britain's greatest monarchs
  • The majority plan to watch the Royal Thames Flotilla as part of the Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations, either on TV or in person
  • Significant numbers see the holiday as a chance to celebrate the Queen and the country, as well as a chance to see more of their family and friends
  • However, most Britons think life in Britain today has got worse in the 60 years since the Queen ascended to the throne

Views on monarchy: extremely popular among Britons

The monarchy remains extremely popular among Britons, with positive views having increased slightly since this time last year:

  • Over half (57%) say that they are proud of the Royal Family, while almost three quarters say the monarchy should be kept over an elected head of state
  • 67% think that, generally speaking, the monarchy is good for Britain
  • Three in five (60%) think that the institution will still be in existence one hundred years from now

This may be explained by Queen Elizabeth II's individual popularity: the vast majority (86%) say she has 'done a good job' as Queen, while 56% she has been one of Britain's greatest monarchs.

Jubilee plans: Majority will watch flotilla, 1 in 5 will attend street party

Our polls show that Britons are looking forward to this event (23%) most ‒ more than they are the forthcoming Olympics (21%), or football championships Euro 2012 (20%).

Over half the population (52%) intends to watch the Royal Flotilla (including the Royal Barge, pictured), either on TV or in person along the River Thames.

Britain today: Worse than in 1952

Although largely feeling positive towards the monarchy, Britons believe that many other elements of British society today have got worse in the sixty years since Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne.

  • 75% say that community spirit has got worse, while 65% say the same for 'law and order'.
  • Over half of Britons (51%) feel that job opportunities have decreased in the sixty years since 1952
  • 60% think that Britain's standing in the world has decreased since 1952
  • Happiness levels are also worse now than then, say 49% (just 17% say they're better)

In fact, the only elements from our list which were deemed to have improved since the Queen's coronation are economic wealth (45% say it's improved compared to 32% who say it's now worse), and social mobility (43% say it's better today, while 31% say it's worse).

The Royal Family's importance

Over half (53%) of Britons say the Royal Family is less important to Britain than they were 60 years ago.

Despite appreciating the monarchic institution as it is today, more people (51%) say the Queen should not have any real power, compared to (44%) who think she should have power.

Monarchy an 'important part of democracy'

Claims that the Royal Family and the monarchy promote a class system and inequality fail to garner a majority view among the public, while a sizeable majority disagrees with the claim that the Royal Family is out of touch.

  • Almost half of Britons 49% agree that the monarchy helps promote inequality within Britain, a similar 42% disagree.
  • 61% disagree that the monarchy is outdated and out of touch, compared to less than half who (30%) agree.
  • 61% agree that the Monarchy is an important part of Britain’s democratic system while a strong majority of the British public (81%) agrees that the Royal Family provides a significant amount of revenue for Britain through tourism.
  • A significant majority also thinks (64%) the Royal Family is 'good value' for money given the role it plays for the country.

Celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee take place this weekend, and will include a Flotilla of boats on the River Thames, a concert in honour of Her Majesty, and a procession through London.

Queen Elizabeth II is only the second monarch ever to celebrate sixty years on the throne – the first ever was Queen Victoria in 1897.

Related story: YouGov President Peter Kellner's analysis on Britons' views of how the nation has changed since 1952

See our Media Briefing on YouGov's recent polling on the Diamond Jubilee and monarchy in full

See our results for The Sunday Times (pages 7-9)

See our results for The Sun

See our own poll questions on the monarchy and the Diamond Jubilee

See the full original Press Release and all details here

For more information please contact YouGov PR Executive Giovanna Clark

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