Young British people want to abolish the monarchy in dramatic shift of public opinion, survey shows

The young would rather have an elected head of state

Maroosha Muzaffar
Friday 21 May 2021 07:54 BST
<p>A recent YouGov poll has revealed that young Britons prefer to do away with the monarchy. File photo</p>

A recent YouGov poll has revealed that young Britons prefer to do away with the monarchy. File photo

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A recent poll has revealed that young people in Britain are no longer enthralled with the monarchy and would rather do away with the institution.

A YouGov survey indicates that at least 41 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 preferred an elected head of the state as compared to 31 who wanted a king or a queen.

This is, in fact, a complete reversal of what the majority wanted two years ago. Back then, the survey had found that at least 46 per cent preferred the monarchy and only 26 per cent wanted it gone.

The YouGov survey of 4,870 adults – between the ages of 15 to 49 — also revealed that at least 53 per cent supported the monarchy. This is five percentage points down from a similar survey in 2019.

At least 81 per cent of those above 65, said they preferred the monarchy — which YouGov says is almost unchanged from two years ago.

The Press Association reported that support for an elected head of the state has grown from 26 per cent in 2019 to 37 per cent in 2020. And now to 41 per cent in 2021 — a total jump of 15 per cent points.

The royal family has been in the eye of the storm lately. The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, quit his royal duties over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2019. Then in 2020, the Harry and Meghan exit, popularly referred to as ‘Megxit,’ stirred up the British royal press, followed by the Oprah Winfrey interview with the two earlier this year.

In April, the Queen, 95, lost her 99-year-old husband, Prince Philip.

The Queen has reigned for 69 years and is preparing to mark the Platinum Jubilee next year. Press Association called her a “symbol of stability for the nation.”

Even though the monarchy is losing its charm among young people, overall the Queen and monarchy were backed by 61 per cent of the respondents. And just “under a quarter,” thought it should be replaced with an elected figure.

Previous polls have indicated that the young Britons hold a more “favourable view” of Harry and Meghan Markle than their older counterparts, who the report said had “overwhelmingly negative feelings about them.”

The YouGov survey had said: “As has been common in previous YouGov polling surrounding the Sussexes, there is a significant difference of opinion between the ages. Nearly half of those aged between 18 and 24 (48 per cent) feel more sympathy for Harry and Meghan, while 15 per cent are more sympathetic to the senior royals.”

“Britons aged 25 to 49 are split 28 per cent to 24 per cent sympathising,” the survey found.

“Above the age of 50, sympathies flip in favour the senior royals and the Queen by 46 per cent to 13 per cent, rising to half of those aged over 65 (55 per cent) feeling more sympathy for the Queen,” it added.

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