LONDON, May 26 (UPI) -- Almost seven in 10 Britons believe the monarchy is good for the country and only 22 percent support abolishing the institution, a poll released Friday found.
The polling firm ICM began surveying opinion on the monarchy in 1997, the year of Princess Diana's death. The gap of 47 percentage points between the 69 percent who support Queen Elizabeth II and those who want to oust her is the widest ever, The Guardian, which commissioned the poll, reported.
There is less enthusiasm for hereditary monarchy -- or at least for Elizabeth's heir. While 39 percent say Charles, Prince of Wales, should become king when his mother dies, 48 percent would prefer an immediate coronation for his popular older son, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.
The survey showed income and class play little part in how Britons feel about the monarchy. Support is far weaker in Scotland than in England and Wales, with only 36 percent saying the monarchy is good for the country.
Conservatives are far more monarchist than members of other parties. Older people also tend to be more royalist than younger ones.