How the royal family’s popularity has changed in the last century - The Coventry Observer

7th Aug, 2022

How the royal family’s popularity has changed in the last century

Correspondent 3rd Aug, 2022 Updated: 4th Aug, 2022

The British Royal Family is an institution that has stood strong and resolute for hundreds of years. In total, there have been 12 British monarchs since the formation of the UK, starting with Queen Anne in 1707. It started with the House of Stuart, then Hanover and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and the UK is currently ruled by the House of Windsor.

In the last 100 years, the popularity of the royal family has seen some monumental shifts and they have ruled during some of the most important events in modern world history. We look at how this has changed and the main events that caused the swings.

World War era – George VI

George V was generally viewed as a good king and was popular with the general public. After his death in 1936, the unwilling Edward VIII became king for less than a year, until his eventual abdication. He was simply not cut out to take the throne and instead wanted to live the high life. Despite this and his personal antics, Edward remained a popular figure.

George VI then also reluctantly took the throne and was responsible for a resurgence of popularity in the royal family, after confidence was shaken during the abdication scandal. Despite his initial lack of public confidence, Bertie won the hearts of those in the UK, who found his family principles and courage endearing.

He ruled over the nation during a time of war, and with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, successfully fought against the Nazis. This also did wonders for the popularity of the royal family.

Current era – Elizabeth II

With the passing of George VI, his daughter Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch and during her reign, the popularity of the royal family has perhaps seen the most swings. Despite this, her personal popularity has always been incredibly high and she is one of the most beloved monarchs in the world.

Despite the upheavals listed below, the current popularity of the royal family is relatively high, and they have good support. However, there is no denying that it is not at the heights of what it once was.

Prince Charles and Diana

The marriage of Charles and Diana was, as the Betway Insider puts it, one of the 10 events that stopped the world. It was a fairytale event and over two million people lined the procession route. The royals were running high here.

However, that would soon change when rumors of Prince Charles’ infidelity surfaced. Diana would later tragically die in that fatal car accident, and many people’s attitude towards the royal family and their treatment of the people’s princess soured. This ire was mainly directed at the older royals, while the public were desperately sorry for her children, William and Harry.

Prince Harry and his exploits

After the death of Diana, the royal family’s popularity remained a little stagnant and was hampered by the tearaway exploits of young Prince Harry. He was rebellious and was involved in many controversies that didn’t help the reputation of the royals at all. This included partying and reacting to the paparazzi.

He has now done much to overcome this bad-boy stage, although his recent move to the US and stepping down from royal duties has not helped the family’s reputation much.

Prince Andrew and the Jeffrey Epstein scandal

Until the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, the royal family’s reputation was steady. Sure, there was the occasional media story, but generally, the public were enjoying watching William and Harry flourish, and the Queen celebrating her Platinum Jubilee.

However, Prince Andrew put his foot in it with that horrendous BBC interview, which many saw as a poor decision. He was embroiled in the Epstein case and has had numerous aspersions and allegations cast against his character, which has undoubtedly damaged the royal’s reputation. However, the family has acted wisely and promptly, and to limit the damage have ultimately distanced themselves from the prince and left him to sort out his own problems.

In eras past, the reputation and popularity of the British Royal Family was unshakable. They were a cornerstone of UK tradition and recognized worldwide. While this remains true to this day, in the Queen Elizabeth II era, the popularity of the royals has certainly had its up and downs, and never before have their actions and lives been under as much scrutiny.

Article written by Jack Stewart.

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