A big day to remember?

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
April 12, 2011, 10:22 PM GMT+0

The vast majority of the British public will neither visit London to see the royal wedding procession nor attend a street party in honour of the upcoming event, our poll has found, and while around a third will be watching on television, exactly the same proportion will be shunning the occasion altogether by ‘doing their best to ignore it’.

We asked over 2,000 British adults how they propose to commemorate the day of royal wedding.

  • 35% said they intend on watching the wedding on television
  • Exactly the same proportion (35%) is intent on ignoring the proceedings altogether
  • 3% say they will be attending a street party on the day
  • While 2% say they will be going into London to watch the procession to Westminster Abbey
  • Over one in five (23%) feel that none of these options aptly describe their plans for the day
  • But only 5% say they didn’t know what they’ll be doing

Interestingly, women are much more likely than men to be tuning in to the big day, while men are decidedly more likely than women to actively shun the ceremony.

  • 47% of women plan to watch the ceremony on television, more than double the 23% of men
  • Similarly, only 24% of women surveyed claim they will be trying to ignore the event altogether, as opposed to 46% of men

Prince William’s Westminster Abbey wedding to fellow St Andrews university alumnus and ‘commoner’ Kate Middleton is less than three weeks away, and the media focus on everything from the guest list to the bride’s dress designer has continued to intensify as the big day approaches. Public anticipation and media speculation has seen a slew of wedding-themed memorabilia, while the nation has rejoiced as a well-placed public holiday to mark the occasion is set to allow workers to enjoy 11 days off with only three days annual leave from work.

I don’t feel like dancing

Our findings concur with recent reports on Brits’ planned activities over the wedding weekend. Travel deals have mushroomed as people seek to make the most of the holiday, but applications for street parties have been noticeably low across the country compared to those made for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981; reportedly, a relatively few 4,000 applications have been made, with some boroughs having not received a single application. In contrast, the number of those watching on television has been estimated at around 2 billion across the world.

So while some will be profiting from their extra Friday off to get involved in the wedding fanfare, mostly by watching on TV, decidedly few say they will be actively participating, in either public street parties or by watching the procession, and it seems a sizeable percentage is determined to avoid the media onslaught altogether.

See the survey details and full results here (as part of our latest Sunday Times poll