Diamond jubilee sends Queen’s popularity soaring

Support for the monarchy in Britain is at its highest level for decades thanks to Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee and last year’s royal wedding, according to a new poll published Saturday.

Some 80% of Britons want to remain subjects of the queen, while just 13% are in favour of a republic, according to the poll of more than 1 000 adults carried out by Ipsos MORI and published in the Daily Telegraph.

Shortly before the April 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, now known as the Duchess of Cambridge, 75% of Britons supported the monarchy.

The rise in support is attributed to the fact that the queen is touring the country to mark her 60th year on the throne, and that the popular duchess has increased her public appearances.

Simon Atkinson, deputy chief executive of Ipsos MORI, said: “Support for the royal family has always been consistently high, but the queen will enter her jubilee celebrations with support for the monarchy running at record levels.”

“Given the choice, 80% of Britons want to see Britain remain a monarchy, a jump of five percentage points, which could be attributed to the increased coverage of the royal family because of last year’s royal wedding and this year’s diamond jubilee celebration.”

A right royal affair
The queen was attending a military parade and flypast at Windsor Castle on Saturday in celebration of the 60th year of her reign.

Queen Elizabeth II is watching thousands of Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force troops parade outside her Windsor Castle home to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

The parade is part of a series of events to celebrate the queen’s 60-year reign, which culminate in nationwide Jubilee celebrations on a 4-day weekend beginning June 2.

Some 2 500 troops paraded through Windsor Castle grounds and through the town to the sound of six military bands Saturday. Windsor castle, some 40 kilometres west of London is one of the Queen’s residences.

The queen and her husband Prince Philip will then travel along the same route before watching a tri-service fly past of 78 aircraft — including helicopters, Hawks, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Red Arrows and Tornados.

On Friday she hosted a Jubilee lunch at Windsor castle for several monarchs from around the world. — Sapa.

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