Two-thirds of Brits not interested in royal wedding: Poll

Two-thirds of Brits not interested in royal wedding: Poll
PHOTO: Reuters

LONDON - A global audience will be watching when Prince Harry weds his US fiancee Meghan Markle on Saturday (May 19), but most Britons don't care much, a YouGov poll said on Monday.

The poll, commissioned by anti-monarchist pressure group Republic, found that 66 per cent of Britons are not interested in the event, with 60 per cent of Britons planning to have a normal weekend.

Prince Harry and Ms Markle are set to marry at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle with more than 5,000 media staff and around 100,000 well-wishers expected to descend on the market town.

The poll by polling firm YouGov showed that 57 per cent of respondents believed the royal family should pay not only for the wedding, but also for the costs of police.

An opinion poll published last week showed that most Britons are in favour of the monarchy continuing in Britain.

And another poll by polling firm ComRes found 58 per cent of respondents thought the royal wedding and the recent birth of Prince Louis to Prince William and his wife Kate were events of which Britain could be proud, although support was more pronounced among older people.

The YouGov survey suggested that the popularity of the royal family is contingent on the personalities of its members. While 60 per cent of respondents say they like Queen Elizabeth, her son Charles is far less popular.

Nearly half of respondents would prefer "someone else" to succeed the Queen, while only 37 per cent want Charles, who is the father of Prince Harry and his older brother William.

"This YouGov poll shows a very clear picture of a nation disinterested and apathetic about the royal family," Mr Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, said.

"We're not a nation of republicans yet - but we've stopped being a nation of royalists."

Britain's Prince Harry to marry Meghan Markle

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    Britain's Prince Harry is to marry his US actress girlfriend Meghan Markle early next year it was announced Monday, with the Queen leading a chorus of approval and best wishes for the couple who got engaged in secret earlier this month.

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    "His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018," Clarence House, Prince Charles's office, said a statement.

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    The couple's engagement was sealed in London and the prince then informed his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, close members of the royal family and had also sought the blessing of Markle's parents.

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    Britain's Prince Harry and his soon-to-be wife, American actress Meghan Markle.

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    The couple will live at Nottingham Cottage in London's Kensington Palace, where his brother William and his pregnant wife Kate live with their two children.

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    Harry's 36-year-old bride-to-be is best known for her role as a lawyer in the hit television show "Suits".

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    Reports that Markle, who is expected to become a duchess, was moving her two dogs -- Guy and Bogart -- to London further fuelled rumours of the first royal wedding since William and Kate in 2011.

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    The actress's parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said in a statement they were "incredibly happy" and wished the couple "a lifetime of happiness."

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    "Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person," they said. "To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents."

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    Prince Harry revealed Monday that he proposed to US actress Meghan Markle over roast chicken, and said she would be "unbelievably good" at her new royal role despite its pressures.

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    The couple said they were enjoying "a cosy night" at home in his cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace earlier this month - "trying to roast a chicken" - when he got down on one knee.

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    "She didn't even let me finish, she said, 'can I say yes? can I say yes?' and then there were hugs," Harry said in the couple's first interview since the announcement of their engagement earlier Monday.

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    They revealed they knew little about each other when they were set up on a "blind date" by a mutual friend.

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    Harry said he had never heard of Markle, while the actress added she was largely ignorant about the British royal family and just asked of their friend, "is he nice?" The date went so well they immediately met up again before going camping together for five days in Botswana just a few weeks later.

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    "Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other," Prince Harry said.

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    They spent the first few months after that staying in, cooking dinner and watching television to avoid any public attention.

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    Bookmakers have already started taking wedding related bets, with Westminster Abbey a firm favourite to host the event and fashion label Alexander McQueen favourite to design the dress.

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