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Queen More Popular Than Ever as Diamond Jubilee Approaches

Posted on the 25 May 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
The Queen is more popular than ever as the Diamond Jubilee approaches

The Queen is more popular than ever as the Diamond Jubilee approaches. photo: Michael Gwyther-Jones

The background

An ICM/Guardian poll recently found that the Queen is currently enjoying record-breaking levels of popularity in the UK and around the world.

In the year of her Diamond Jubilee, 69 percent of people questioned said that Britain would be “worse off” without the monarchy, with 22 percent saying it should be abolished. It is the widest percentage point margin in opinion since the same question was put to the public in 1997. The findings are mostly consistent across the nation, with Royal popularity dipping only slightly in Scotland; the results also show that the popularity is spread amongst all social classes.

What do the new figures mean for the Royal family?

Riding high on Jubilee excitement, affection for Kate

The new figures suggest that the spike in popularity has come after the increase in attention surrounding the Royal family with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this June, celebrating 60 years on the throne, and the powerful effects of the younger Royals, notably the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Telegraph said, “The poll is proof that the ‘Kate effect’ since last year’s Royal wedding, coupled with a sense of patriotism stirred by the Diamond Jubilee, has paid huge dividends for the Royal family”.  A spokesman for Ipsos MORI, who test the nation’s support for the monarchy, said, “Since the Royal wedding the publicity the Royal family has received has been phenomenal, particularly for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.” Popularity seems to reach beyond the UK, with The Vancouver Sun reporting that a “new poll suggests support for maintaining ties to the monarchy is on the rise in Canada.”

At least 10,000 street parties are expected to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, Periscope reported – will you be among them?

Prince Charles not so popular, however

The Guardian’s poll suggested, however, that popularity for Prince Charles as the next monarch is not so strong amongst the public. The statistics revealed that 48 percent believed the Crown should pass to Prince William, with only 39 percent giving support to the Prince of Wales. Under the same question, only 10 percent said that the UK should become a republic with an elected head of state.

Resurgence from dark days and her ‘annus horribilis’

GMA News comment on the fact that the Queen’s popularity amongst her subjects has been mixed over the past two decades, noting, “there was palpable ill-will towards the queen following the death of Diana, in a Paris car crash in 1997, when the monarch was widely criticized for failing to join in the public outpouring of grief”. Historian Kate Williams declared that the Queen’s renewed popularity “is really quite incredible when you think about how extraordinarily unpopular she was after the death of Diana”, and after her “annus horribilis” in 1992 when Windsor Castle caught fire and she faced criticism over her tax-exempt status.

Voices of discontent: The crown embodies ‘superstition’

Yet among the vast majority who seem to support the Queen and the monarchy, there are still republican voices who deplore these new figures. Tom Clark at The Guardian commented angrily that “the crown is, lest we forget, is an institution that embodies deference, inherited privilege and superstition. It pulls a royal robe over the terrific power which Britain’s half-written constitution concentrates in executive hands.” He also flagged the results which say that the public prefer Prince William to Prince Charles, stating that once we take suitability to the role into account, we “shake the very foundations” of what the monarchy represents: a hereditary and chronological succession. Clark calls on republicans to “encourage the treasonous chatter about whether the next man in line is in fact the right man for the job”.

 More on the Royal Family

  • Taking it to the streets: 10,000 street parties expected for Diamond Jubilee
  • Who’s coming to the Queen’s Jubilee lunch for monarchs? 
  • Prince Charles reads the BBC weather
  • Kate’s first year as Duchess of Cambridge a success, say critics

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