The global media made much of Britain’s Prince Harry announcing his engagement to American divorcee Meghan Markle, but a new poll has found British opinion on a variety of potential future scenarios — including gay marriage — is less settled.
The research by British pollster YouGov suggests a majority of people are comfortable with the coming Royal wedding, with 79 per cent saying a union with a non-Brit is acceptable, 69 per cent saying a different ethnicity is not a problem, and 78 per cent saying marriage to a divorcee for a Royal is acceptable.
At the other end of the scale, British people seem less accepting of the prospect of a gay Royal wedding. While those fine with the idea are fractionally ahead at 44 per cent, those saying it “would not be acceptable” stand at 41 per cent, a figure that Pink News has called “shocking”. Some 15 per cent didn’t know either way.
While these figures represent the polling of Britain as a whole, YouGov’s polling also broke down the results by age, and by voting preference at the EU Referendum in 2016.
The pollster found that leave voters showed more socially conservative tendencies, yet still the majority of those supporting Britain leaving the European Union supported most of the scenarios, with the exception of gay marriage, with a minority of 29 per cent accepting the idea.
Nationwide, 52 per cent said they were “indifferent” to the news of the engagement of Prince Harry, the fifth in line to the throne, to the American actress Meghan Markle.
Despite misgivings about a theoretical Royal gay wedding, the Royal family as an institution remains overwhelmingly popular and retains broad support across the United Kingdom. A 2015 study found that 68 per cent of British respondents thought the Monarchy was good for the United Kingdom, and 62 per cent thought it would still be around in 2115, a century distant.