The MIRROR Online, LONDON, England, By John Stevens A whopping 175,000 people are being asked to give their opinion on the Royal Family in a major poll commissioned by the Government.
The unprecedented survey will see ordinary voters questioned on what they think the role of the monarchy should be. Households from across the country are being randomly selected to take part in the exercise. The results of the opinion poll are being relayed to senior members of the Royal Household.
Details on what the country thinks King Charles and members of his family should be doing will be made public this summer.
People surveyed are being asked: “What do you think should be the main role of the Monarchy in the UK?” The options, of which participants can only pick one, include “to undertake a constitutional role as Head of State (such as opening each new session of Parliament)”, “to support and encourage public service and charitable sectors” and “to recognise and support the armed forces”.
Other possible choices are “to be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England”, “to provide a sense of continuity and act as a focus for national identity, unity and pride”, “to promote the UK abroad” and “to recognise exceptional achievement by issuing honours (such as MBEs, OBEs)”.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has commissioned pollster Verian to ask about the monarchy as part of a wider survey. Other questions include how often people visit a library, have they listened to a podcast in the last year and whether they have a smart speaker in their house.
The polling exercise, which will see a total of 175,000 people interviewed, began in May this year and will be completed by the end of March. People who take part are given a £10 shopping voucher as a thank you. The incentive alone will cost an estimated £1.75million.
The Government published some early results last week with the responses from people who took part in the survey between July and September, but they excluded details of what they said about the role of the monarchy. They are due to be released in the summer.
The results of a separate question on major events showed 90% had heard of the Coronation of King Charles, compared to 70% who were aware of the Women’s Euro 2022 tournament, which was won by England. More than half (51%) said they had taken part in the Coronation celebrations in May, including 45% who followed coverage on TV and radio, 8% who attended local events and 2% who joined in the national festivities in London and Windsor.
Ahead of conducting this super-survey, the Government has done smaller “interim” ones with 33,000 people each in the past two years, which included a question on the role of the monarchy. The new survey is more than five times bigger.
Last year of the 9,004 people who answered the question on what they thought should be the monarchy’s main role, 28% said to provide a sense of continuity and act as a focus for national identity, unity and pride, ahead of 23% who said to undertake a constitutional role as Head of State. Some 12% chose to support and encourage public service and charitable sectors, while 6% said to promote the UK abroad. Just 3% selected to recognise and support the armed forces, as only 1% said to be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Perhaps surprisingly only 2% picked to recognise exceptional achievement by issuing honours such as MBEs and OBEs. A fifth (20%) said they didn’t know.
The latest series of The Crown on Netflix includes a storyline about how the Royal Family commissioned polling on what the public thought of the monarchy following the death of Princess Diana.
In real life, around 2,000 people were questioned on their views in March 2001. It was reported at the time that Queen Elizabeth II received the results in stony silence when they were presented to her and senior Royals including Prince Philip and Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. A leak suggested that fewer than one in four thought they were hardworking and only one in ten thought they were good value for money.