Queen’s popularity sky-high in America on eve of Diamond Jubilee

Posted at 4:10 PM, Jun 01, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-01 15:44:13-04

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) - Americans love the queen.

As Britain prepares to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 60th year on the throne, the sovereign's popularity in the United States is at a 15-year high -- 82% of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of the queen in a CNN/ORC poll released Friday.

That's a 35-point jump from 1997, when her favorable rating stood at 47%. That was the year Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris. Many Americans and Brits were disappointed in the royal family's handling of the death of the "people's princess," saying the queen didn't sufficiently reflect her subjects' sense of loss following the accident.

Since then, however, Queen Elizabeth's favorable ratings have been on the rise, reaching 75% in 2002 and 80% in 2007.

Next week the United Kingdom will put royal pageantry on full display in celebration of the queen's Diamond Jubilee. The high point will be Thames Jubilee Pageant, a 1,000-boat flotilla led by the queen aboard the royal barge.

"Americans love Queen Elizabeth and they think the royal family is a good thing for the people of England, but only one in eight would like to see royalty here in the United States," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

The poll showed 77% of Americans saying the royal family is good for the people of England.

Among her fellow royals, the queen reigns in popularity -- Prince William, her grandson, had a 77% favorable rating. His brother Prince Harry stood at 70%.

William's wife is similarly popular. The Duchess of Cambridge, known as Kate Middleton before her marriage to William, had a favorable rating of 73%. Her wedding last April drew hundreds of millions of television viewers, and sparked a renewed interest in Britain's royal family among Americans.

Prince Charles, first in line to succeed Queen Elizabeth, had a more modest favorable rating than his mother.

"Prince Charles' favorable rating, at 57%, is comparatively low, and only 36% have a positive view of his wife, the former Camilla Parker Bowles," Holland said.

The prince, who underwent a high profile divorce from Diana in 1996, married his long-time companion Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. Camilla took the title Duchess of Cornwall upon her marriage to Charles.

Prince Philip, the queen's husband, is not as popular as his wife, though is still viewed favorably by 59% of Americans.

The CNN/ORC poll surveyed 1,009 adult Americans by telephone between May 29-31, 2012. The sampling error was plus or minus three percentage points.