Last week, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II, died at 99 years old. Four in five Americans (85%) heard about the British royal’s death in the latest Economist/YouGov poll.
American evaluations of the late Prince rose after his death, but it is the Queen who remains the most popular living member of the monarchy.
There is a sizable age gap when it comes to the Royal Family: favorable assessments of both the Queen and Prince Philip are more than 30-points higher among senior citizens (83% and 74% favorable, respectively) than they are among those under the age of 30 (53% and 38% favorable). Republicans are also more positive than Democrats are about most of the Royals.
The last two years have seen Great Britain’s Royal Family beset by many controversies. The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry’s separation from the Royal Family (with his wife, the former Meghan Markle) brought attention (and criticism) to the Royals by Americans. Last month, 71% of Americans were aware of the much-watched interview of the Sussexes by Oprah Winfrey.
Prince Harry and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are viewed favorably by around half of Americans (54% and 48% favorable overall). They are liked more by Democrats (72% and 70% favorable) than by Republicans (45% and 30%), and also have a higher following among younger Americans than many of the other royals.
One reason for the partisan difference between Harry and Meghan and the other Royals is the comparatively high positive assessment they receive from Black Americans, higher than that of all other groups except Democrats. Three in five (63%) have a favorable view of Prince Harry, and 61% say the same for Markle.
Three individual family members are perceived negatively by Americans: Prince Andrew (24% favorable, 37% unfavorable), Charles, the Prince of Wales (33% favorable, 43% unfavorable) and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and Charles’ wife (27% favorable, 45% unfavorable).
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has experienced a relatively recent fall from grace with the American people following accusations of sexual relationships with underage women and his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, who was convicted of child prostitution.
Charles, who is next in line to the British throne, and his wife have been unpopular with Americans ever since his divorce from Lady Diana Spencer and her death in a car accident in 1997, as well as his remarriage. The late Princess Diana was much loved then and still is. Only 9% of Americans have an unfavorable image of her; two-thirds (66%) are favorable.
Americans seem content to observe the monarchy from afar. Most clearly do not want a Royal Family in the United States (which rejected a British monarch more than two centuries ago). More than two in three Americans (69%) say a monarchy in the United States would be a bad thing. Just one in 20 Americans (5%) think it would be a good thing.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between April 10 - 13, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.8% for the overall sample