Those countries that still maintain a monarchy such as the United Kingdom (UK) or Spain are meeting a decline in trust and an increase in discontent towards the crown. Even though these titles are purely symbolic, the opposition maintains a strong antagonistic discourse towards the crown and what it entails. Although they remain vastly popular, the opposition to the monarchy is progressively becoming more important as more scandals take place.

  1. Public opinion of the Spanish Monarchy
  2. Public Opinion of the English Monarchy
  3. Similarities of the Public Opinion Spanish and the English Monarchies

Public Opinion of the Spanish Monarchy

The repeated scandals affecting the royal family are jeopardising the future and credibility of the Crown.

Princess Leonor de Borbón is the heir to the Spanish throne. But what does the future hold for the Spanish monarchy? The royal family uses great communication efforts to underline the uprightness and training of King Felipe VI and his young daughter Princess Leonor. But the scandals of the past few years are seriously compromising the future of the Spanish crown, in a Spain troubled by economic instability.

The monarchical institution has always been associated with the figure of Don Juan Carlos. The monarch enjoyed widespread sympathy among most Spaniards, who always rated him very favourable.

However, the popularity of the royal family amongst Spaniards began to decline in 2012 in the midst of an economic crisis and facing a historic unemployment rate. In these hard times, the lifestyle of King Juan Carlos I, who was hunting elephants in Botswana was shown to the public and shocked public opinion. Several scandals of corruption and extramarital affairs of the former King of Spain that came subsequently to light disrupted the image of the royal family. Juan Carlos was then investigated for an illegal commission of 100 million dollars paid by the Saudi royal family for the contract to build the high-speed train between Mecca and Medina. On top of this, in 2017, Iñaki Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma de Mallorca, was convicted for embezzlement of public funds, tax fraud and influence peddling.

The perpetual occurrence of scandals led to a decline in popularity amongst Spaniards.

Public Opinion of the English Monarchy

Not everyone in the United Kingdom supports the British monarchy as an institution. When asked, the majority of the population values the tradition and symbolism of the royal family and would be sad to see it disappear. Conversely, a significant proportion of British citizens would prefer a constitutional reform that would introduce an elected Head-of-State.

The Queen, Elizabeth II has various constitutional duties which include the signing of laws, the appointing of the Prime Minister and opening parliamentary sessions. Nevertheless, the decision-making powers granted to monarchs in the UK has met a decrease and a transfer to the relevant authorities through time.

The monarch rules by popular consent in the UK, and in recent years the British monarchy has been challenged and the subject of debates. But for now, those who want to see the end of the royal family remain a significant minority.

The royal family has been affected by numerous scandals such as the friendship between Prince Andrew's and Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew forsaken by companies and university with which he collaborated and was withdrawn from public life.

Another scandal included Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and their stepping down from their leading role in the royal family on the 31st of March of 2020. Between accusations to Buckingham and the opening of an investigation into suspicious harassment against Meghan, the relationship between the Sussexes and the Windsors became increasingly strained.

After Meghan's statements during the Oprah Winfrey show, including harrasment and discrimination, the popularity of the British royal family took a hit.

There is a significant dissimilarity in response between the young adults, adults and the elderly when asked about the royal family. Young people in Britain are no longer captivated by the monarchy and prefer to end with the institution. A recent poll indicates that at least 41% of 18-24 year olds preferred an elected head of state compared to 31% who wanted a Queen or a King.

Between 2019 and 2021, the rate of youngsters who wish for there to be an elected head of state has increased by more than 10%, and those who believe there should continue to have a monarchy has significantly dropped by 20%.

27% of the population between the ages of 25 and 49 years thinks there should be an elected head of state, a rate that has slightly increased in the past 2 years, and, 53% still believe in the monarchy. In the past 2 years that number has increased.

Other generations, such as the population between 50 and 64 years old and over 65 years old are firm believers of the monarchy and the opposition is significantly minor.

Overall, there has been a decrease in popularity, but that decline remains minor.

Similarities of the Public Opinion of the Spanish and the English Monarchies

All-inclusive, both royal families remain significantly popular within their territory, however, the perpetual series of scandals and their widespread mediatisation play a key role in the shape of public opinion and their slight decrease in popularity over the years. The future of both royal families remain unclear, but their unpopularity is coming at a slow rate, as they both represent a symbol of stability for both countries. After 69 years of reign, Queen Elizabeth II has been a symbol of tranquility, security and stability amongst English people, the symbol she represents goes beyond borders and is extremely popular all around. However, the scandals associated and within the family trouble their image. Similarly, the Spanish royal home has had its years of popularity and trust, and as well, represent a symbol of steadiness and strength. However, the scandals are beginning to accumulate, and the Spanish public is slowly loosing patience and noticing certain injustices.

If you wish to know more about the Spanish and British monarchies, click here.

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