Most have a favourable view of Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, as she becomes a more active royal

Mark CunninghamContent Editor
May 13, 2024, 9:50 AM GMT+0

YouGov examines attitudes towards the Duchess of Edinburgh, as well as Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, for the first time

The Duchess of Edinburgh recently became the first royal family member to visit Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. Sophie, wife of Prince Edward, has become a more active royal since King Charles’ coronation last year, having taken on various royal duties since the King’s cancer diagnosis.

With the Duchess of Edinburgh increasingly in the public eye, YouGov has included her in our royal family favourability tracker for the first time. According to the results, just over half of Britons (54%) have a favourable view of Sophie, compared to only 13% who are unfavourable.

With the news that King Charles has returned to royal duties earlier this month, the country’s view of the monarch remains mostly favourable. 

Two-thirds of Britons (64%) say they have a positive view of the King, while 28% of the public hold a negative view of him. Overall, Charles is the fourth most well-thought-of royal, which has remained consistent since the announcement regarding his health back in February. 

The country’s favourite royals remain William and Kate, with three-quarters of Britons having a favourable view of the couple. The Princess of Wales continues to be the most admired royal among Britons (74%), with husband William coming a close second at 73%. 

In contrast, the Sussexes remain the less popular royal couple. Of the two, Meghan Markle is viewed slightly less favourably than her husband, with 22% holding a positive view of her compared to 29% for Harry. But the majority of the public view both royals unfavourably (65% for Meghan and 61% for Harry). 

Prince Andrew continues to be the least liked royal, with only 6% holding a positive opinion of him, while fully 86% view him negatively.

In addition to the Duchess of Edinburgh, our latest survey also included sisters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice for the first time. The children of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson are both viewed favourably by 37% of people, while a quarter (24-25%) hold a negative view of them.

Generations differ on their attitudes to the royals and the monarchy

When it comes to what the public thinks of the monarchy itself, around half of Britons (56%) hold a positive view of the monarchy, compared to 33% who view it negatively.

But views on the monarchy vary across different age groups, with only a third of the youngest Britons (34% of 18-24 year olds) having a favourable opinion. By contrast, among the oldest Britons (those aged 65 and above) fully 76% have a positive view of the monarchy. 

Attitudes towards specific royals also differ, with younger generations having less markedly different views on Harry and William than their elders. Among 18-24 year olds, 48% view William positively, while 42% view Harry in the same light. Among those over 65, William enjoys a favourable view from 85%, while only 16% see Harry similarly.

Similarly, Meghan fares better among 18-24 year olds (36%) than among those over 65, of whom just 11% view her positively.

See the full results here

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Photo: Getty