51% of Britons believe Government should not fund coronation, poll suggests

More than half of Britons do not think the King’s coronation should be funded by the Government, a new poll suggests.

The YouGov survey, carried out just over two weeks before Charles and the Queen Consort are set to be crowned, found 51% of adults questioned believe the ceremony should not be funded by the Government.

Almost a third – 32% – said it should, while around 18% did not know.

The King’s coronation is set to cost many millions of pounds – and it falls to taxpayers to foot the bill.

But with no budget revealed for the historic national state occasion, and the Government not commenting on the expected total cost, the amount of public funds due to be spent remains unknown.

Taking place amid the cost-of-living crisis facing the UK and against a backdrop of strikes by doctors, teachers and other public servants over pay, the event has been branded a waste of taxpayers’ money by critics.

Some unconfirmed predictions suggest Operation Golden Orb could cost the nation between £50 million and £100 million.

The late Elizabeth II’s coronation cost £912,000 in 1953 – £20.5 million in today’s money – while Charles’s grandfather George VI was crowned at a cost of £454,000 in 1937 – worth £24.8 million in 2023 and the most expensive coronation of the last 300 years.

Of the 4,246 adults surveyed on Tuesday, 62% of those aged 18 to 24 were not in favour of the coronation being Government-funded, while 15% were in favour.

King Charles III coronation
Members of the military depart Buckingham Palace, central London, during a night time rehearsal for the coronation (Yui Mok/PA)

With those aged 65 and over, the figures were more evenly balanced, with 44% saying it should not be Government-funded, and 43% saying it should.

For 25 to 49-year-olds, 25% said the coronation should be Government-funded and 55% said it should not, and for 50 to 64-year-olds 46% said it should not be down to Government money, while 39% said it should.

Graham Smith, chief executive of campaign group Republic, has called the coronation an “expensive pantomime” and a “slap in the face for millions of people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis”.

As with jubilees and other such events, it is understood the total cost and breakdown of funding will not be available until after the May 6 event.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden has previously insisted the King and the Government are “mindful of ensuring that there is value for the taxpayer” and there will not be “lavishness or excess”.

But Mr Dowden also told the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee at the start of the year: “It is a marvellous moment in our history and people would not want a dour scrimping and scraping.”