Exclusive:Coronation of Charles III: what younger generations think about the King and the royal family, in 7 charts

The monarchy fails to appeal to younger generations, opinion polls suggest. But who is the most popular royal among under-25s?

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The coronation of a new king is just days away, but a stark generational divide is emerging in opinions of Charles III and the monarchy in general.

We’ve taken a look at a variety of opinion polls to see what younger generations think of all aspects of the royal family - and what this might mean for the institution’s future.

Most younger adults don’t care about the coronation, polls show

The coronation of King Charles III simply isn’t getting those under 50 excited, survey data shows.

A poll carried out by YouGov in April shows two-thirds (69%) of those aged 25 to 49 did not care very much or at all about the event. This rose to a massive three-quarters (75%) among those aged 18 to 24, an age range considered part of Generation Z.

Younger adults also look like they will be skipping this weekend’s celebrations, according to the polling.

Less than a third (31%) of those aged 18 to 24 said they were either very likely or fairly likely to watch King Charles being crowned or take part in celebrations surrounding it, the survey by YouGov shows. This contrasts with nearly two-thirds (62%) of those aged 65 and over.

Another thorny issue is the use of taxpayer cash to put on the extravaganza - and it seems younger adults are not a fan. 

Nearly two-thirds of those aged 18 to 24 (62%) said the government should not be paying for the coronation, according to a YouGov poll from April. Just 15% said it should be funding the event. Government funding of the coronation was a more palatable idea among older age groups, although the percentage saying the government should be paying remained below 50% across all age groups.

What younger adults think of King Charles and Queen Camilla

King Charles admittedly has some big boots to fill - multiple polls have found Queen Elizabeth II to be the nation’s most popular monarch in history. So it’s perhaps no surprise that more than half of adults aged 18 to 24 (56%) think King Charles will do a worse job than his mother, according to a survey carried out in April by YouGov on behalf of The Times.

Younger adults are also less likely to want Camilla to be known as Queen, compared with older generations. Just 14% of people aged 18 to 24 thought Camilla should use the title Queen, rather than Queen Consort, compared with 36% of those aged 65 and over, the polling shows.

The most popular royal among Generation Z is Catherine, Princess of Wales, a poll conducted last week shows. The top spot had previously been held by her husband, Prince William.

Many a newspaper column has been written about the rift between Prince Harry and his father and brother, with the popular consensus being that younger generations are more supportive of the Sussexes than older generations. Opinion polls certainly support this - 38% of adults aged 18 to 24 had a positive opinion of Prince Harry compared to just 17% of those aged 65 and over, the YouGov poll found.

Only a quarter of younger adults think monarchy is good for Britain

The popularity of the royal family may go up or down over time, but opinion polls usually find broad support for the idea of a monarchy in Britain.

However, this overall picture masks a big - and growing - generational divide.

In April, just 26% of people aged 18 to 24 said they thought having a monarchy was good for Britain, compared with 72% of people aged 65 and over, polling by YouGov shows. This 46 percentage point gap between the views of youngest and oldest age groups is far wider than the 27 percentage point gap seen in July 2019.

Looking forward, it seems the royal family will need to do more to appeal to Generation Z if it is to survive. Despite Prince William being one of the most popular royals among this generation, just 49% of people aged 18 to 24 think he will make a good king when the time comes, compared with 83% of over-65s, the YouGov poll conducted last week shows.

The 18-to-24 age range is the only one where support for a republic outweighs support for a monarchy, with 40% supporting the idea of an elected head of state compared with 36% preferring a sovereign, the same survey shows.

  • This article was published on May 3 and updated later that day to include newly released polling.