Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding

Royal wedding: two-thirds of Britons aren’t interested, poll suggests

‘We’re not a nation of republicans yet – but we’ve stopped being a nation of royalists’

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2018, 10:26am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2018, 12:31pm

A global audience will be watching when Prince Harry weds his US fiancée Meghan Markle on Saturday – but most Britons don’t care that much, a poll suggested on Monday.

The research, commissioned by anti-monarchist pressure group Republic, found that 66 per cent of Britons are not interested in the event – with 60 per cent of them planning to just have a normal weekend.

Harry and Markle are set to marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle with more than 5,000 media staff and around 100,000 well-wishers expected to descend on the market town.

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The survey, by polling firm YouGov, showed that 57 per cent of respondents believed the royal family should pay not only for the wedding but also for the costs of police.

Past opinion polls have suggested that Britons are still overwhelmingly in favour of the monarchy continuing. Ipsos Mori research from 2016 found 76 per cent rejected the idea of Britain becoming a republic.

And another poll, by ComRes, earlier this month found 58 per cent of respondents thought the royal wedding and the recent birth of Prince Louis to Prince William and his wife Kate were events of which Britain could be proud, although support was more pronounced among older people.

The YouGov survey did however suggest that the popularity of the royal family is contingent on the personalities of its members. While 60 per cent of respondents say they like Queen Elizabeth, her son Charles is far less popular.

Nearly half of respondents would prefer “someone else” to succeed the Queen, while only 37 per cent want Charles, who is the father of Harry and his older brother William.

“This YouGov poll shows a very clear picture of a nation disinterested and apathetic about the royal family,” Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, said.

“We’re not a nation of republicans yet – but we’ve stopped being a nation of royalists.”