Loyal Subjects

Churchgoing Christians are mostly (81%) convinced that there is such a thing as a ‘British’ identity, and they retain a strong sense of commitment to the monarchy in general, and the present Queen in particular, according to a Cpanel survey by ComRes for Premier Christian Radio, which was published on 20 January 2012.

Fieldwork was conducted online between 2 and 14 December 2011 with a sample of 559 UK Christians. The full data tables, the third set from this poll (others, previously featured on BRIN, have covered attitudes to Christmas and the Occupy London movement), have been posted at:

http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/Premier_C-Panel_Monarchy_Dec11.pdf

74% of churchgoers said that they were proud of the monarchy as a whole, the proportion being below average for the 16-44 age cohorts and peaking at 85% among the over-65s. Denominationally, one of the lowest figures (69%) was recorded by Roman Catholics. 24% of the whole sample said that they were not proud of the monarchy.

As with the general public, attitudes to the monarchy are largely conditioned by positive views of Queen Elizabeth II. 85% of Christians were proud of her (including 96% of the over-65s but only 72% of Catholics) and 13% not proud.

Her son, Prince Charles, is much less highly regarded. Just 41% of churchgoers were proud of him and 58% not proud. This relatively poor rating is probably a legacy of hostile reactions to his adultery and divorce in the 1990s. His son, Prince William, fared better, with 77% proud and 17% not proud of him.

Despite this admiration for the monarchy, no more than 31% thought that the monarch should continue to be head of the Church of England, with 55% opposed. The main groups registering a small majority in favour of the status quo were the over-65s (45% for, 42% against) and Anglicans (44% versus 38%). 61% of non-Anglicans, 64% of men and 67% of the 35-44s wanted the current arrangement to cease.

Opinion was more balanced when it came to the question of disestablishment, 43% of Christians supporting it and 45% negative. Not unexpectedly, Anglicans strongly favoured an established church (by 59% to 30%) and non-Anglicans slightly backed disestablishment (by 48% to 40%). Women (51%) also endorsed establishment more than men, and the over-65s (55%) more than the young.

 


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