Queen Elizabeth Popular With American Public

by David W. Moore

Most Americans say royal family a good thing for people of England

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- As Queen Elizabeth celebrates the 50th anniversary of her coronation, a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll finds that Americans are much more favorable toward the British monarch than they were in the immediate aftermath of Princess Diana's death in August 1997. The American public also gives high ratings to the two royal sons, William and Harry, but is somewhat more negative towards the late Diana's former husband and the heir apparent, Prince Charles. Overwhelmingly, Americans do not think an American royal family would be good for the United States, but most say the royal family is a good thing for the people of England.

A Gallup poll conducted Sept. 4, 1997, just four days after Princess Diana's death in a car accident in Paris, found only 47% of Americans with a favorable view of Queen Elizabeth, and 40% with an unfavorable view. Press stories at the time highlighted the tension between the princess and the queen, tension that had been evident since well before the dissolution of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' marriage on Aug. 28, 1996. A poll conducted just over a year after Princess Diana's death, in December 1998, found the queen's image rebounding to a 68% favorable rating among Americans, with only 21% expressing an unfavorable view. In the latest poll, conducted May 28-29, Americans feel favorably toward the queen by a margin of 75% to 12%.

Opinion of Queen Elizabeth

The poll shows that Prince Charles' image has also rebounded, but is still significantly more negative than the queen's. Shortly after Princess Diana's death, just 29% of Americans said they had a favorable opinion of the prince, and 61% had an unfavorable opinion. By contrast, the current poll shows Americans feeling more favorably than unfavorably toward him, by 53% to 33%, virtually unchanged from the December 1998 poll.

The sons of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, William and Harry, enjoy very positive ratings from the American public. The older son, Prince William, second in line for the throne after Prince Charles, is viewed favorably by a margin of 73% to 7%, little changed from the positive rating he received in the September 1997 Gallup poll. Prince Harry receives a 57% to 7% favorable to unfavorable rating. The lower ratio is due in part to the fact that, in comparison to his brother, more Americans say they have never heard of him.

Royal family good for England, but not for U.S.

Seven in 10 Americans say the royal family is a good thing for the people of England, up from 63% who said that in 1999, and just 45% with that opinion in 1950. Americans' less positive view a half-century ago is due primarily to fewer Americans expressing an opinion. In 1950, only 20% said they thought the royal family was a bad thing for the people of England, compared with 17% who say that today.

Royal Family:
Good Thing or Bad Thing for the People of England?

At the same time, not surprisingly, Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of an American royal family. Today, as well as in 1999 and 1950, almost nine in 10 Americans say such an institution would be a bad thing for the people of this country.

Would a Royal Family Be a
Good Thing or a Bad Thing for America?

Survey Methods

Current results from the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews with 1,003 national adults, aged 18+, conducted May 28-29, 2002. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points. For results based on the sample of 856 adults with credit cards, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Next, we'd like to get your overall opinion of some members of the royal family in England. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person -- or if you have never heard of him or her. First, ... How about... [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Queen Elizabeth of England

 

Favorable

Unfavorable

Never heard of

No opinion

2002 May 28-29

75%

12

1

12

1998 Dec 28-29

68%

21

1

10

1997 Sep 4

47%

40

--

13



B. Prince Charles

 

Favorable

Unfavorable

Never heard of

No opinion

2002 May 28-29

53%

33

2

12

1998 Dec 28-29

54%

35

1

10

1997 Sep 4

29%

61

--

10

1992 Dec 18-20

25%

44

--

31



C. Prince Harry

 

Favorable

Unfavorable

Never heard of

No opinion

2002 May 28-29

57%

7

17

19



D. Prince William

 

Favorable

Unfavorable

Never heard of

No opinion

2002 May 28-29

73%

7

3

17

1997 Sep 4

70%

8

--

22



Q.25/Q.26 SPLIT SAMPLED

In general, do you think that the royal family is a good thing for the people of England, or a bad thing?

BASED ON --506-- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A

 

Good thing

Bad thing

No opinion

2002 May 28-29

70%

17

13

1999 Jun 11-13

63%

23

14

1950 Jun 4-9

45%

20

34



Do you think an American royal family would be a good thing for the people of this country?

BASED ON --497-- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B

 

Good thing

Bad thing

No opinion

2002 May 28-29

9%

87

4

1999 Jun 11-13

12%

86

2

1950 Jun 4-9

3%

87

10



Get Articles in Related Topics:


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/6148/Queen-Elizabeth-Popular-American-Public.aspx
Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030