More young Britons now want elected head of state as support for monarchy drops

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·Royal Correspondent
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More young Britons want an elected head of state instead of the monarchy according to a new poll by YouGov.

Statistics from the company show 41% of those aged 18-24 want to vote for their head of state, compared to 31% who are happy to stick with the monarchy.

Support across the UK in general for an elected head of state has gone up, but is still a minority view, with 24% backing it.

Support for the monarchy has dropped to 61%, a nine point drop from 70% in 2020. 

However the trend of younger age groups might be a cause for concern as it will impact the longevity of the Royal Family. 

Across all other age groups the support for the monarchy remains higher than support for an elected head of state.

There has been a drop in support for the monarchy in younger age groups. (YouGov)
There has been a drop in support for the monarchy in younger age groups. (YouGov)

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However, support for the monarchy appears to be dropping in several groups, including among 25-49-year-olds, and in over-65s.

It was down five points in the 25-49 age group, at 53% from 58% last year. Support for an elected head of state was up 4% to 27%. 

In over-65s, the support is only dropping slightly, at 80% this year, down from 82% last year.

The 50-64-year-old age group is the only one where it remains steady, at 70% this year and 71% last year. However, support for an elected head of state has risen in the same group. 

Support for an elected head of state rose in every age group. 

YouGov surveyed 4,870 British adults in 2019, 3,127 British adults in 2020, and 4,997 British adults in 2021. The year scores are averages of the survey results carried out in that year.

Supporters of an elected head of state have previously suggested that recent events like Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey could set the stage for the end of the Royal Family in Britain.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 15: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II attends a service marking the 750th anniversary of Westminster Abbey on October 15, 2019 in London, England. The service at Westminster Abbey marks 750 years since Edward the Confessor's original church was rebuilt under the reign of King Henry III. The new Gothic Abbey was consecrated on October 13, 1269. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Support for the Queen, here at Westminster Abbey is high, but for the monarchy is dropping. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Republic chief executive Graham Smith previously said he thought the growing trend would make it hard for William to be succeeded by his son George. 

He told Yahoo UK: "The monarchy is facing a challenging decade ahead. The Queen has sustained its popularity and her reign is drawing to a close. 

"Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview, questions surrounding Prince Andrew and big shifts in social attitudes all spell danger for the royals. 

"For many the Queen is the monarchy, the monarchy is the Queen. When she’s gone we're likely to see these numbers in support of a republic continue to rise as more and more people wonder what’s the point of this archaic and expensive institution."

Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel said the monarchy is in the "end game" in an interview earlier this month.

She said: "I don’t know how much longer the institution will go on. I’m not sure if it will outlast William. So I think it will be their last big era.

"I wish the Queen had felt able to abdicate, because Charles has had to wait such a long time. I understand that she thinks of this as a sacred task, from which you simply cannot abdicate, whereas the rest of us think of it as a job, from which you should be able to retire."

TOPSHOT - (L-R) Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge holding Prince Louis, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Britain's Princess Beatrice of York, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal,, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's Princess Eugenie of York, Britain's Lady Louise Windsor, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York,, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex,, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, James, Viscount Severn and Isla Phillips stand with other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Royal Family at the 2019 Trooping the Colour. It's been through a rocky 18 months. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP)

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The monarchy has been through a rocky year and a half, starting with the stepping back of Prince Andrew in November 2019 after a disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight about his friendship with disgraced paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York has not carried out any duties since then, though he did appear at his father's funeral in April and gave interviews in the days after Prince Philip's death.

In January 2020 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rocked the monarchy when they announced they wanted to step back from their senior royal roles, and subsequently moved to the US where they have developed deals with Netflix and Spotify.

Their claims in an interview with Winfrey of racism within the palace, and that Meghan had been left unsupported when she was struggling with her mental health, deepened a rift between the couple and the palace.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 14: Queen Elizabeth II reacts as she attends the State Opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament on October 14, 2019 in London, England. The Queen's speech is expected to announce plans to end the free movement of EU citizens to the UK after Brexit, new laws on crime, health and the environment. (Photo by Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen at the State Opening of Parliament in October 2019. She still carries out the ceremonial role when called upon. (Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Michael of Kent, who does not carry out duties on behalf of the Queen, was accused of being willing to use his royal status for personal profit, and to seek favours from Russian President Vladimir Putin, after an undercover report by The Sunday Times

And Prince Harry's revelations about his mental health continue to create problems within the palace - most recently as he suggested the way the Queen had brought up Prince Charles had impacted his own childhood.

The Queen, 95, has been on the throne for 69 years, with preparations under way to mark her Platinum Jubilee next summer.

She has been seen as a symbol of stability, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

She remains one of the most popular royals, as is her grandson Prince William, though public support for Prince Charles is lower.

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