Who would Britons choose as their elected head of state?

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
March 18, 2021, 1:34 PM UTC

Many people would prefer to have a member of the royal family as their head of state, but David Attenborough ranks highly too

Harry and Meghan’s feud with the palace has fuelled discussions about whether the public will turn their back on the monarchy. Previous YouGov research shows that while most still support it, the jury is out among younger Britons.

But who could replace the Queen? Her own grandson, Prince William, is the most common answer among those who expressed an opinion at 12% and the Queen the third most popular option with 7%.

David Attenborough, who is the most popular Briton according to YouGov Ratings, comes second in line to the people’s throne, with 9% of the public who had a preference choosing him as their ideal head of state.

Some 4% of Britons expressing an opinion would nominate themselves, while 3% voted for Prince Charles. Similar numbers believe Boris Johnson (4%), Nigel Farage (2%) or Jeremy Corbyn (2%) could be the unifying figure the nation needs.

Apart from the Queen, not many women made the list. Kate Middleton, Joanna Lumley and the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, all had 1% of the vote each. The same goes for Nicola Sturgeon and Princess Anne.

Tory voters with a preference are especially keen on Prince William (16%), the Queen (10%), and Boris Johnson or Prince Charles (6% each).

Meanwhile, Labour supporters are most likely to choose David Attenborough (13%), Jeremy Corbyn (8%) or Prince William (7%). Only 2% chose Keir Starmer.

Around one in seven Britons with an opinion (14%) say they wouldn’t want anyone as their elected head of state.

See the full results here