Thursday, 21 April, 2011 1:47 PM
Americans, Particularly Women and Those Older, Have Opinions About
the British Royal Family
just three in ten say they are likely to watch the upcoming wedding
William and Kate Middleton will get married on April 29, 2011.
YORK -- A new Harris Poll finds that Americans have a complicated
relationship with the British royal family. When asked how closely
they have been following the news surrounding Prince William and
Kate Middleton's recent engagement and upcoming wedding, fewer than
one in five U.S. adults say they have been following it closely
(18%), while the majority describe themselves as not following this
news closely (82%), with 42% saying they have not been following
it at all. Similarly, when asked how likely they are to watch live
coverage of the royal wedding when it takes place in April, only
three in ten Americans say they are likely to do so (30%) yet many
Americans have opinions about the successor to the British throne
and Kate Middleton's class status.
These are some of the
results of The Harris Poll of 2,379 adults surveyed online between
March 7 and 14, 2011 by Harris Interactive.
Gender and Generation
Although the majority
of Americans overall say that they have not been following Prince
William and Kate Middleton's engagement and upcoming wedding closely
(82%) and that they are not likely to watch live coverage of the
royal wedding (66%), there are differences in what men and women
say. Not surprisingly, women are more likely to describe themselves
as following the engagement and wedding news closely (24% say this,
compared to just 11% of men who do). Similarly, two in five women
say they are likely to watch live coverage of the royal wedding
(41%) compared to fewer than one in five men who say the same (18%).
There are also interesting generational differences--the oldest
group of Americans, Matures, who are 66 years and older, are more
likely than younger generations to both be following news of the
engagement (24% vs. between 13% and 18%) and likely to watch live
coverage of the wedding (44% vs. between 26% and 28%).
Despite not following
the news closely, Americans do have some opinions on details of
the British royal family's business. When asked about Kate Middleton's
class status, as she will be the first so-called "commoner"
to marry a direct heir to the British throne, almost half of Americans
say this is a good thing for Britain's royal family (48%), very
few people say it's a bad thing (1%) and two in five describe it
as neither good nor bad (39%). Interestingly, women are more likely
than men to say this is a good thing for the British royal family
(53% vs. 43%). Matures (55%) are also more likely than younger groups--Baby
Boomers, aged 47-65, (49%), Gen X, aged 35-46 (43%) and Echo Boomers,
aged 18-34 (48%)--to say this is a good thing.
Over two in five Americans
say that they would like to see Prince Charles, currently next in
line for the British throne, to step aside and allow his son, Prince
William, to be the next king of England (44%) with a quarter of
Americans saying they would very much like to see this (25%). Once
again, women display stronger feelings on this than do men, as half
of women say they would like to see this happen (52%), compared
to fewer men who say the same (35%). Men, on the other hand, are
more likely to say that they are not at all sure (52% versus 38%
of women). It should come as little surprise that Matures again
display the strongest opinions on the succession of the British
throne--half say that they would like to see Prince Charles step
aside (52%) compared to
between 38% and 45% of all other generational groups who say the
Although many don't seem
anxious to admit it, Americans appear to be fairly interested in
the proceedings of the British royal family, and, American opinions
reflect a preference for movement toward what may be a more accessible
and relatable monarchy. While Americans' opinions on this subject
are interesting, one wonders how Britons feel. One would assume
more of them are following this news closely and have opinions on
the future of their monarchy.
This Harris Poll was
conducted online within the United States between March 7 to 14,
2011 among 2,379 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex,
race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted
where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions
in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust
for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and
polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject
to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to
quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error,
error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question
wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.
Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error"
as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different
possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure,
unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only
because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this
survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate
in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect
the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based
on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel,
no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform
to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public
Source: Harris Interactive