Britons split on whether Royal Family is ‘expensive luxury’ we can’t afford as costs surge

Royal family face crisis once the Queen's reign ends says expert

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Energy bills and inflation have surged as the UK population struggles to afford the luxuries they had benefitted from just a few months ago. Now, a leading poll has revealed the cost of the Royal Family – much-loved by millions throughout the country – has been brought into serious question. The latest accounts for the Sovereign Grant show the monarchy cost UK taxpayers £87.5million during 2020/21 – a massive jump of £18.1million from the previous financial year.

Polling firm Ipsos Mori said its latest survey of 1,049 adults aged 18-75 from May 13-14 shows “opinion is now split as to whether the Royal Family is an expensive luxury that the country cannot afford”.

Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) agreed this was the case while slightly less (36 percent) disagreed. Close to quarter (23 percent) of those surveyed were undecided.

The results also showed a clear age difference on this question as 18-34 year olds are more likely to agree than disagree that the Royal Family is an expensive luxury, by a margin of 48 percent to 22 percent.

But this position swings in the other direction among 55-75 year olds who disagree by a similar margin (53 percent to 22 percent).

Ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next week, the poll also found two-thirds believe she should remain in her position for as long as possible, while only 23 percent think she should abdicate.

Almost half (46 percent) said Britain has become a better place since the Queen came to the throne in 1953 compared to just a fifth who say it is the same and 23 percent who believe it is worse.

The monarch’s mobility issues have placed the spotlight firmly on Prince Charles, who is next in line to the throne and has recently taken on more of her roles, including reading the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament.

But the poll revealed just under half of Britons (49 percent) think he will do a good job as King, while a fifth (20 percent) believe he won’t. This is similar to the public’s views earlier this year in March.

However, expectations of Prince William – second in line to the throne behind Charles – are much higher, with nearly three-quarters (74 percent) believing he will be a successful monarch, with just seven percent disagreeing.

If and when Charles does become King, almost half (45 percent) believe he is likely to reduce the number of active members of the Royal Family, although 38 percent also said he is unlikely to do so.

Britons are also split as to whether Charles would likely modernise the monarchy – 43 percent believe this is probable while 45 percent do not.

Four in 10 (40 percent) believe he will likely reduce the cost of the monarchy, while a similar 43 percent disagree.

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Ipsos Mori said this could be an “increasingly important achievement in the eyes of the British public” due to the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Kelly Beaver, chief executive at Ipsos in the UK, said: “It is promising to see Britons more confident than not that Prince Charles will do a good job as King, and that hopes are even higher for his son Prince William, even while a majority hope the Queen will remain in place for as long as possible.

“There is also clearly an expectation that Charles will use his position to increase awareness of climate change.

“However, with opinion split as to whether the country can afford the Royal Family – particularly amongst young people – there are other issues that may be more of a test for the Prince of Wales.

“Particularly whether he will be able to modernise the Royal Family, and demonstrate to the public that it is carrying out its duties as cost-effectively as possible.”

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