King Charles's core fan base 'are not going to be here forever', says royal expert

Watch: King Charles's core fan base 'are not going to be here forever'

King Charles is under threat of losing support for the monarchy if he doesn't adapt to the times, a royal commentator has warned.

Polling data has consistently shown young people are less engaged with the Royal Family compared to older generations.

In a recent poll commissioned by Yahoo, only 11% of those aged 18-24 said they were 'very likely' to tune into the coronation service on 6 May, with a further 26% saying they were 'quite likely' to watch.

Overall amongst the over 65s, there was 60% likelihood of watching the coronation.

In 2018, YouGov analysis showed that those who support the Royal Family the most were likeliest to be Conservative voters, aged over 55 and to describe themselves as "very" or "quite" patriotic.

Afua Hagan discussed on Yahoo's Future of the Monarchy panel, the different needs between King Charles's older and young subjects. (Yahoo UK)
Afua Hagan discussed on Yahoo's Future of the Monarchy panel, the different needs between King Charles's older and young subjects. (Yahoo UK)

The issue was debated from several angles by a panel of experts on Yahoo's 'Future of the Monarchy' panel discussion, hosted by royal executive editor Omid Scobie.

In response to a question about whether Charles would alienate his main support base if he issues an apology for the Royal Family's historic ties to the slave trade, royal commentator Afua Hagan said that it was important for Charles to do so and move with the times - even if it wouldn't be popular with his traditional supporters.

"Modernising the Royal Family means keeping up with the times and keeping up the pulse, and yes there is a certain generation that will say look, as you said in your intro, that this is 'leftist wokeist' nonsense, and that you know 'slavery is done and dusted, it doesn't affect us today', but that's another reason why we need more accurate history taught in our schools", Hagan said.

"Because the effects of enslaving people has real-time affects on the outcomes of Black and Brown people in this country today, because of the institutionalised racism that we see in the health service, that we see in the police service, and how we have, you know, lower outcomes for Black and Brown people

"Whether that is how much income they will earn, what type of housing they are in, what health outcomes they will have.

Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort (R) and Britain's King Charles III (L) arrive to visit the Liverpool Central Library on April 26, 2023 to officially mark the Library's twinning with Ukraine's first public Library, the Regional Scientific Library in Odessa. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JON SUPER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles and Camilla will both be crowned at the coronation service on 6 May, but younger people are less likely to tune into watch. (Getty Images)

"So, we need to realise it's not just something that's happened, that can be swept under the carpet and it doesn't matter today. It does matter today and it's still happening.

"And yes perhaps King Charles does lose the support of some of his fanbase, but without sounding too crass and without too cold, that fanbase are not going to be here forever.

"It's the younger people and it's the younger fan base who are probably the ones that do want to see more of a conversation about this, that are going to be around for a longer period of time.

"It's horrible to say that but it's true and so King Charles would really do well to take real steps towards addressing the Royal Family's involvement with enslaving Africans".

Hagan's sentiments were echoed by Robert Jobson, the royal editor of the Evening Standard, who said it was time for the Royal Family to start taking advice from younger people.

"There needs to be I think, younger people around [the King] in terms of advising him [...] what we do need know are younger people with different perspectives to advise the King and the Royal Family going forward, because William is 40, he is not a young man".

Jobson added: "I really do believe we need to start listening to the under 30s, and even the under 20s, because, you know, if the monarchy does have a longevity, it's those people who matter".