Poll finds 66% of Britons not interested in wedding

Whether you love them or hate them, anyone visiting the British town of Windsor can't escape Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's faces which are emblazoned on merchandise in shops across the picturesque town.

LONDON • A global audience will be watching when Britain's Prince Harry weds American actress Meghan Markle on Saturday, but most Britons do not care much, a YouGov poll said on Monday.

The poll, 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 Britons planning to have a normal weekend.

The prince and Ms Markle are set to marry at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle with over 5,000 media staff and around 100,000 well-wishers expected to descend on the market town.

The poll 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.

An opinion poll published last week showed that most Britons are in favour of the monarchy continuing in Britain.

And another poll by polling firm ComRes 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 poll 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.

The YouGov survey suggested 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," Mr Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, said. "We're not a nation of republicans yet - but we've stopped being a nation of royalists."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2018, with the headline 'Poll finds 66% of Britons not interested in wedding'. Print Edition | Subscribe