Growing number of young Brits want monarchy abolished, poll finds

21 May 2021, 07:45 | Updated: 21 May 2021, 07:48

Support for the royal family among young people is declining
Support for the royal family among young people is declining. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

An increasing number of young Britons would now prefer to ditch the monarchy for an elected head of state, a new poll has found.

The number of 18-24-year-olds supporting the institution has been eclipsed by those wishing to abolish it for the first time since YouGov began asking the question.

More than four in ten would rather remove a king or queen and replace them with an elected representative, whereas 31 per cent believe the monarchy should continue.

Support for a head of state that the public votes in has risen significantly over the past two years, from 26 per cent in 2019, to 37 per cent in 2020 and now to 41 per cent - a 15-point jump.

It comes following a raft of issues that have blighted the royal family in recent years:

  • 2019 - Prince Andrew quits royal duties over friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein
  • 2020 - Megxit: Harry and Meghan step aside from royal duties
  • 2021 - Duke and Duchess of Sussex give bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview, accusing royal family of racism

Meanwhile, the Queen, who has reigned for 69 years, will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next year. She is already Britain's longest-ever serving monarch.

However, support among young adults for a royal family has dropped in that time.

In 2019, it stood at 46 per cent, for 2020 it was at 40 per cent, and this year it has slumped to 31 per cent - a 15-point decline.

Read more: Harry accuses Royal Family of 'total neglect' in documentary

Read more: William says BBC contributed to Diana's 'fear and paranoia' in final years

But across the general population, the royals are still enjoying more support than condemnation, with more than three in five people backing the Queen and her heirs, whereas less than a quarter would opt for an elected head of state.

Support for the monarchy is expectedly strongest among older age groups, with seven in 10 of those aged between 50 and 64 still backing it and more than eight in ten of those aged 65 and over in favour - both seeing only one-point drops in support since 2019.

Opinions among 25-49-year-olds have shifted only slightly, with support for having a royal family down from 58 to 53 per cent, while more than a quarter now back an elected representative.

YouGov surveyed 4,870 British adults in 2019, 3,127 British adults in 2020, and 4,997 British adults in 2021.