Following the death of Queen Elizabeth, public opinion of the Monarchy seems to have plummeted among young people.
A recent study conducted by the BBC found that only 32% of 18–24-year-olds are supportive of the monarchy compared to 78% of over 65-year-olds. This is a contrast to 2012, when 73% of the population viewed the Monarchy as a good thing for the nation.
But what seems to have swayed public opinion?
One of the main factors could be the uncertainty surrounding a new monarch on the throne, particularly because Queen Elizabeth was a constant figurehead for 70 years – an entire lifetime for some people.
Few can forget the various scandals to have hit the Royal Family in recent years. The final nail in the coffin, perhaps, was the demise of Charles and Diana’s marriage, and the treatment of the former Princess of Wales is something that many people have not forgotten – leaving Camilla a long way to go if she wants to step out of the shadow of the woman who went before her.
Another factor may be that we are living through a cost-of-living crisis in the United Kingdom. With foodbank usage at a record high in the UK, to have a coronation ceremony that will be the ‘most expensive yet’ (according to the Live Mint) has certainly soured opinions of the new Monarch before his reign has even begun.
To get a more regional view, I asked 10 people in Chester if they supported the Monarchy. My results were a 50/50 split between the answers available, with a range of ages asked.
Most were happy to share their reasoning, with one woman simply stating that it was because she was Irish. Another man, sitting with his colleagues, said that he hadn’t originally liked King Charles, but that he had “improved, as he realised the duties that came with the role,” a reference to his previous lifestyle that the Monarch seems to have left behind.
But some still think of the late Queen when the Royal Family is mentioned. “She was the Monarchy,” said another man, stating emphatically that he would “always like the Queen more.”
He then said: “We grew up with her. My family will always think of her as the only Queen.”
When it came to the younger people I interviewed, they all seemed to share the same view of royalty. “They’re a glorified tourist attraction,” said one young adult, shaking his head at the mere mention of the Royal Family.
“They just live in their own bubble with no real influence, and serve no real purpose,” said another, later calling for them to be removed altogether.
It certainly seems as though King Charles has a tough journey ahead of him to honour his mother’s legacy while coming into his own as a monarch – and all while aiming to get the younger generation on his side.
The jury is still out on our future King… but court is now in session.
by Sonia Veneziani-Rocha