As Queen marks milestone birthday, survey shows Canadian support for monarchy dwindling

While many subjects of the British empire may be celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 96th birthday, a new poll suggests Canadian support for the monarchy would fade quickly if not for its longest surviving British monarch.

Public opinion data from the Angus Reid Institute reports 51 per cent of Canadians say Canada should not remain a part of the monarchy in coming generations.

The survey also found that 55 per cent of Canadians support Canada’s position as a constitutional monarchy as long as the Queen reigns.

“There is a sense today that the monarchy does not represent modern values. It represents more traditional or outdated values,” said Schachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid institute.

She later added “fewer and fewer feel those cultural and family ties to England in the way we might have 50 years ago.”

Queen Elizabeth earns more support from Canadians that other members of the Royal Family, including heirs to the throne.

Just 34 per cent of Canadians surveyed would support Canada remaining a part of the monarchy after Prince Charles becomes king.

“It tells me that it really is her majesty the Queen who turned 96 today who is sort of holding it all together. She’s the gum or the glue that’s really holding the monarchy together in terms of not just the family institution in Britain but its role around the world,” added Kurl during comments to CTV News Toronto on Thursday.

MONARCHISTS DISAGREE WITH SURVEY

Supporter of Canada as a constitutional monarchy say that public opinion for the Royal Family can ebb and flow, and they do not predict a drop off of support at the end of the Queen’s reign.

“It’s easy when you look at the Queen and how popular and beloved she is, to think that the institution will be diminished, and we will think differently of it when she’s gone. But I actually don’t think that will happen,” said Bruce Hallsor, a Victoria-based spokesperson for the Monarchist League of Canada.

Hallsor also added that Canadians turn out in droves to Royal visits which demonstrates public support.

“It really brings the community together. It’s a feel good event when we have these and I think Canadians value that and we don’t want to give that up. I think the institution will be here for a long time,” he said.

The Alberta head of the Monarchist League of Canada said Canadians have connected with monarch over generations.

“The Queen very much is a Canadian. She’s visited Canada almost 20 times during her reign,” said Josh Traptow.

Traptow also added that the Queen’s representative in Canada and in the provinces has frequently been selected as female or visible minority, such as the recent appointment of Mary Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General.

SOME CALGARIANS AMBIVALENT

CTV News asked Calgary residents for their thoughts on the queen and the British Monarchy, and many offered tepid sentiments.

“Honestly I probably know the most about the Queen from watching The Crown on Netflix. “It gave me a little bit of insight into the Queen,” said Christ Guirguis, who then added, “I think we are a lot more disengaged them former generations.”

Heather Wagstaffe wished the Queen happy birthday from Stephen Avenue.

“I like the presence of having a monarchy here and honestly if we got away from it, I don’t think Canadians would notice any different, so we might as well stay with what we’ve got,” she said.

SUBDUED BIRTHDAY

The survey also found three-out-of-five Canadians also support the decisions of other countries including Barbados and Jamaica to discontinue having the Queen as head of state.

Three-out-of-five Canadians also support the decisions of other countries including Barbados and Jamaica to discontinue having the Queen as head of state.

CTV News has learned Queen Elizabeth II will mark her April 21 birthday quietly, spending the morning in Windsor Castle and the remainder of the day at the Sandringham Estate.

It’s expected she will take few visitors and spend some solitary moments to reflect on some nostalgic moments, as it is also her first birthday without her late husband Prince Philip.

A larger outdoor celebration is expected in June.

The Queen is also preparing to mark her Platinum Jubilee this year for 70 years as the reigning monarch, a record in British history.

She’s also the current Head of State for 15 countries including Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall will conduct a Royal Tour of Canada in honour of the platinum Jubilee, however there are no planned stops in Alberta.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY

The Angus Reid Institute poll was conducted online from April 5-7 using a representative randomized sample of 1,607 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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