Mind the (generation) gap: Young Britons ponder point of having a monarchy

After the contentious interview with Harry and Meghan, the thousand-year-old institution could be in jeopardy.

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World News

March 22, 2021 - 9:48 AM

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Beatrice, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on June 8, 2019, in London. Photo by (Chris Jackson/Getty Images/TNS)

LONDON — Pandemic lockdowns and lack of opportunity drove 24-year-old drama school graduate Sarah Evans back to her family home in small-town Wales. In the general store where she works, the subject of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the now California-based Duke and Duchess of Sussex, sparks heated arguments with an older clientele.

There has long been a generational divide in Britain over the role of the royal family. But the couple’s explosive interview this month with Oprah Winfrey cast those age-based differences in sharp relief, a rift that some believe could point to eventual troubles for the thousand-year-old monarchy.

Britons as a whole strongly support the institution of the monarchy, with about two-thirds in favor of maintaining it, according to a YouGov poll last week. Among those age 18 to 24, though, that backing falls to less than half.

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