Brits say ‘no’ to Royal roles

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
October 26, 2011, 3:43 PM UTC

Just over half of the British public say that the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie should follow ordinary careers, compared to one in five people who think they should take on formal roles in the Royal family and carry out Royal duties, our poll has found.

Our results come in light of reports that Prince Andrew would like his daughters to be given a formal position within the reigning family and take on official royal engagements befitting such roles.

  • 53% of Brits believe that the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, also the daughters of Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York, should follow ordinary careers and should not carry out any formal Royal duties
  • Just one in five people (20%) think that the princesses should take on Royal roles
  • 15% say neither option would be appropriate

Older people are much more likely than younger respondents to say that the princesses should not take on official Royal roles.

  • 70% of those over 60 years of age say that the girls should not take on official duties
  • Compared to just 34% of those aged 18-24 saying the same
  • The proportions of those actively agreeing that the princesses should have official roles, however, are more or less equal (18% of younger people vs. 14% of older)

A regional split also emerges across the country, with 25% of Londoners thinking the daughters should have official duties, compared to 15% of Scots, while just 47% of Londoners oppose the idea compared to a more substantial 58% of Scots.

The easy option?

Following last week’s reported meeting between Princess Eugenie and her father Prince Andrew, plans were apparently discussed to get his girls, the only granddaughters of the Queen to be conferred the titles ‘Royal Highness’ and ‘Princess’, involved in Royal duties.

However, some reports suggested that some senior courtiers are keen to save money by ‘scaling down’ the Royal family, and therefore oppose Prince Andrew’s plan. Currently, younger sister Eugenie is studying at Newcastle University while Beatrice recently graduated from London’s Goldsmiths University.

But while some feel that as minor royals, the girls should make their own way in the world of work without relying on their titles to help them, it has been suggested that charity work and other duties are far from being the easy option, and that getting involved in philanthropic causes, in the same way as their mother and late aunt Diana have done, would raise charity profiles and be a worthwhile occupation.

For her part, Princess Beatrice has already publically said that she likes the idea of using her position to assist her mother in the projects Ferguson already works for – and has already made appearances at projects such as HIV awareness and children’s literary causes alongside her mother and sister.

In 2009, Beatrice ran the London Marathon to raise money for Children in Crisis, but it was arguably her controversial hat design at the much-watched wedding of cousin Prince William that did most for the charity’s profile: the unusual Philip Treacy creation sold for £81,000 on online trading site eBay, with all the money being donated to both Children in Crisis and Unicef.


See the survey details and full results here