Measuring British Public Opinion on the Monarchy and the Royal Family

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern Monarchy book series (PSMM)


This chapter assesses public opinion, as measured through opinion polls since the inter-war period, and makes a distinction between monarchy as institution, and royal family—permitting insights into individual performances of the latter. As the chapter demonstrates, both the nature and volume of polling has changed radically from rare polls focusing mostly on peripheral matters to the modern reality of frequent and wide-ranging (although not necessarily systematic) polling. At one level, the early polls provide little insight but the shift informs of why there has been a change in focus and intensity of polls. Given that published British opinion polls are commissioned by the news media, the content evoked by polling is revealing of changing editorial agendas in relation to the institution, but also to individuals in terms of their performance ratings in relation to expectations of the institution and how royal individuals relate to these. Public support for the continuation of the monarchy has apparently remained rock-solid but not attitudes towards individual members of the royal family, something which this chapter reveals has implications for the survival of the institution.


Public Opinion Question Wording Royal Family Public Opinion Research Sunday Time 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Contemporary British History, King’s College LondonLondonUK

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