Royal wedding boosts public support for monarchy

The Royal Wedding appears to have given the British monarchy a much needed boost, with fewer people supporting New Zealand becoming a republic compared to nine years ago.

A UMR Research poll of 700 Kiwis following the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton - now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - found approval of the royal family leaped to 74 per cent from the 60 per cent it stood at back in July 2002 when the question was last asked.

There has also been a turnaround in expectations about whether New Zealand will become a republic in the next 20 years.

In 2005, 58 per cent expected the monarchy to be ditched, with only 29 per cent believing it would be retained.

Those figures have now reversed, with only 33 per cent expecting New Zealand to become a republic within 20 years and 52 per cent expecting the monarchy to be retained.

In the latest figures only 24 per cent support the country becoming a republic, while 58 per cent are opposed and 18 per cent are unsure.

Support for New Zealand becoming a republic varies relatively little by age, the survey found, but 31 per cent of men are republicans compared to only 19 per cent of women.

The survey also found 53 per cent of adult New Zealanders watched the wedding closely.

Women were the most interested, with 62 per cent watching it closely compared 43 per cent of men.

lthough interest was strongest among those over 60, with 64 per cent watching it closely, half of those under 30 years of age (53 per cent) also watched it closely.

Remarkably, 32 per cent of those who disapprove of the royal family and 42 per cent of republicans also watched the wedding closely.

- NZHERALD STAFF

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