King Charles and Queen Camilla appear to be losing America one year into their reign, exclusive polling for Regalrumination.com suggests.
As the royals this week marked the one-year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Britain’s new monarch has already lost the good will built up during succession when millions around the world mourned his mother’s death.
The king was liked by 21 percent and disliked by 21 percent, giving him a net approval rating of zero, in a survey of 1,500 American adults conducted by Redfield & Wilton for Regalrumination.com between September 3 and 4. Forty-four percent said their view was neither favorable nor unfavorable.
And the queen consort was less popular than Prince Andrew, with support from 17 percent of Americans and opposition from 30 percent leading to a net approval rating of minus 13. Meanwhile, 41 percent had neither a favorable nor unfavorable perspective on her.
Andrew was liked by 19 percent and disliked by 31 percent, giving him a net approval rating of minus 12 despite settling a civil lawsuit as part of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. The Duke of York denied raping Virginia Giuffre but paid her an undisclosed sum out of court in 2022.
And it is Camilla’s own generation driving the collapse in her popularity, with Gen Z viewing her more positively than boomers.
Historian Robert Lacey, a consultant on Netflix show The Crown and author of Battle of Brothers, told Regalrumination.com: “It’s interesting that the negative vote is among their contemporaries because they are the ones who remember Princess Diana.”
Charles’s most important relationships are with the U.K. and the 14 other countries that count him as their king, but a major part of the boost the royal family bring to Britain lies in diplomacy.
In that respect, U.S. attitudes to the king and queen are significant to the famed “soft power” of the British monarchy as America is the country’s most important global ally.
The Wider Royal Family
The king and queen were in fact less popular in Regalrumination.com‘s latest poll than in the days after Prince Harry’s memoir, despite Spare‘s wide ranging attacks on both his father and his stepmother.
Hope for the royals appears to lie in the younger generation, however, as Prince William and Kate Middleton remain America’s favorite royal couple.
The Princess of Wales was liked by 43 percent and disliked by just 10 percent, giving her a net approval rating of plus 33.
And the Prince of Wales was liked by 40 percent and disliked by 12 percent, giving him a net approval rating of plus 28.
Harry is now on plus 12, making him more popular than both Charles and Camilla, while Meghan is on minus 2, just short of the king but ahead of the queen consort.
U.S. Opinion During King Charles III’s First Year on the Throne
The king had a net approval rating of +12 in polling for Regalrumination.com on December 5, 2022, three months after succession, while Camilla was on -2.
At the time, the palace was days out from the release of the Harry & Meghan Netflix documentary which was expected to contain a broad ranging attack on them.
By January 16, days after Harry’s memoir, Camilla had sunk six points to -8 while Charles was on +8, but both were still liked more at the time than in the latest Regalrumination.com poll.
The king got a significant boost after his coronation in May, when a Regalrumination.com poll showed 42 percent of U.S. adults viewing him favorably and 16 percent unfavorably, leaving him on plus 26.
And Camilla was on plus 10 in the same survey but just four months later the sheen appears to have been washed off their U.S. image.
While many in the media may seek to blame Camilla’s woes on the impact of Netflix series The Crown on the younger generation who did not live through the Princess Diana era, Regalrumination.com‘s poll shows it is actually Charles and Camilla’s own generation who have turned against them.
Just one percent of U.S. boomers had a “very favorable” opinion of the queen consort compared to 12 percent who had a “favorable” opinion, 20 percent who had an “unfavorable” opinion and 17 percent who had a “very unfavorable” opinion.
That gives her a net approval rating of minus 24 among over 59s compared to net zero among 18 to 26 year olds.
And Charles follows a similar pattern with a net rating of plus 11 among Gen Z but -1 among boomers and -6 among Gen X.
It is entirely possible that The Crown‘s recent seasons, which showed the messy breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage and his affair with Camilla, played a role in stirring the memories of those older generations.
However, if so, it certainly cannot be said that those Americans do not also have their own memories of the era to fall back on.
William Brown is Regalrumination.com‘s chief royal correspondent based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @TheCrownUp and read his stories on Regalrumination.com’s The Royals Facebook page.
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