Public opinion of most senior royals improves

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
April 27, 2021, 9:43 AM UTC

Prince Edward and Prince Charles saw the largest boost in positive opinion, while Harry and Meghan are the only royals who did not see a favourable uptick

The latest YouGov royal favourability figures show that most royals have seen a boost in their reputations since our previous survey in mid-March.

Prince Edward, the youngest child of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, has seen the largest increase in positive opinion, rising from 41% of Britons in March to 54%. Negative opinion fell from 26% to 19%.

Prince Charles also saw a nine point increase in favourable opinion, with 58% of the public now having a positive view of him. The share of Britons who dislike him has fallen by an identical nine points to 33%.

This represents a return to form for Prince Charles, whose positive ratings had dropped eight points to 49% between 2 March and 11 March, when Harry and Meghan spoke about their fallout with the Royal Family in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Public opinion of most senior royals has improved since mid-March

Princess Anne, the Queen and Prince Philip’s second child, also saw her ratings improve, with seven in ten (70%) Britons now saying they like her, up from 64%.

Some 85% of the public now have a positive opinion of Queen Elizabeth II, who remains the most popular royal, up from 80%. Only 9% of Britons have a negative view of the Queen, down from 14%.

The positive trend in opinion of the senior royals may be in part due to public sympathy in the wake of Prince Philip’s death, although it could also partly represent a reversion to normal opinion as memories of the Oprah interview fade.

Harry and Meghan are the only royals who have not seen their ratings change much. Two fifths of Britons like Harry, while half (49%) dislike him, which is similar to in March (45% vs 48%).

Three in ten people (29%) like Meghan while three in five (61%) dislike her – also similar to her previous scores (31% vs 58%).

Britons still want the Queen to remain in her post as the monarch turns 95

Despite the Queen being well beyond the age when most people retire, two thirds of Britons (64%) want her to remain in her job for the rest of her life. Only a fifth of the public (19%) say she should step down from the throne.

While William is a much more popular figure than Charles, public opinion on who should succeed the Queen is split. Approaching two in five people (37%) say Prince Charles should become King when she retires, while a similar number (34%) would like to see the throne go to grandson William. One in six people (17%) say there should be no monarch after the Queen.

Younger people are generally more likely to say there should be no monarch, with three in ten 18-24 year olds (28%) preferring this option. But between father and son, a greater share prefer William at (25%), while 16% choose Charles. Among those aged 65+, half (50%) say Charles should become king while a third (33%) would rather see William do it.

If Charles becomes king, only 14% of Britons would like to see wife Camilla, whose popularity is low, become queen. Over two fifths (44%) prefer her to have the title of Princess Consort, while a quarter (26%) say she shouldn’t have any title at all.

See the full results here