Public support for the monarchy falls to record low
The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) today releases new research collected during 2022 and 2023, identifying changes in attitudes towards the monarchy.
In every year that data was collected on the British Social Attitudes survey between 1983-2023, a majority of the public have consistently said it is important for Britain to continue to have a monarchy. However, those who deem the monarchy to be very important has dropped to its lowest point of 29%.
This research builds on the 40 years of data collected via NatCen’s annual British Social Attitudes survey, reflecting a longer-term trend of declining support for the monarchy.
2022 showed a positive rise in attitudes to the monarchy
There was a positive spike in British Social Attitudes in 2022 which coincided with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and this data was also collected in the immediate aftermath of the passing of HM The Queen Elizabeth II.
Thirty-eight percent said the monarchy is ‘very important’, 24% said it was ‘quite important’, 15% said it was ‘not very important’ and 20% said it was ‘not at all important / abolish’.
Those that said the monarchy is ‘very/quite important’ was an increase of 7 points from 2021, and the first increase since 2012.
2023 shows a drop in support for the monarchy to 2021 levels
In 2023 figures show a drop back to similar figures seen in 2021, the lowest on record. 29% said the monarchy was ‘very important’, 26% said it was ‘quite important’, 20% said it was ‘not very important’ and 25% said it was ‘not at all important / abolish’.
The view that the monarchy is ‘very important’ has reached the lowest percentage since data collection began in 1983.
There is a consistent trend that younger people are less likely than older people to say it is ‘very important’ that Britain has a monarchy. Twelve percent of 18–34-year-olds view the monarchy as ‘very important’ compared to 42% of the 55+ age group.
Guy Goodwin, Chief Executive at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) says: “NatCen has been collecting data on public attitudes towards the monarchy for 40 years. Those who think it is very important for Britain to have a monarchy is at its lowest point since we have collected this information. Whilst we are observing a downward trend in support for the monarchy, it is clear from the data that important national events and celebrations, such as jubilees, marriages and births, have a clear and positive effect on society’s views towards the monarchy. Throughout the 2010s, we saw an increase in support for Britain to continue to have a monarchy, which coincided with the marriage of HRH The Prince of Wales and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Guy Goodwin adds: “The majority of the public still support the royal family, and whilst support tends to be more amongst those aged 55 and over, the challenge going forward will be for the monarchy to deliver its relevance and appeal to a younger generation to maintain this support.”
For more information please contact:
Emileigh Spurdens, Communications Manager
National Centre for Social Research
t: 0207 549 8506 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Crabb, Head of Marketing and Communications
National Centre for Social Research
t: 0207 549 8504, e: email@example.com
Notes to editors:
1. NatCen’s British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey has been conducted annually since 1983. Each year the survey asks around people what it's like to live in Britain and what they think about how Britain is run. Since 1983 more than 115,000 people have taken part in the survey.
2. The 2022 BSA survey consisted of 6,638 interviews with a representative, random sample of adults in Britain and was conducted between 7 September and 30 October 2022.
3. The full wording for the question asked about the monarchy on the BSA survey is, “How important or unimportant do you think it is for Britain to continue to have a monarchy...very important, quite important, not very important, not at all important, or, do you think the monarchy should be abolished?”
4. This same question was asked of 2,410 respondents on the NatCen Panel between 12 January and 12 February 2023. Participants on the NatCen Panel are made up of a representative sample of individuals who have previously taken part on the BSA surveys.
5. This year’s BSA survey was completed online by a representative sample of respondents who were invited at random by post. There was an option to be interviewed by phone if preferred. This is the same design as used in the 2020 BSA. Prior to 2020 BSA was a face-to-face survey, but this was changed as a result of the public health measures introduced in the wake of the pandemic.