The poll comes during a difficult period for the monarchy, given Prince Andrew’s withdrawal from public life amid the controversy over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, in addition to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure as senior members of the royal family.
A majority of Quebecers (70 per cent) and residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (63 per cent) agreed formal ties should end after Her Majesty’s reign, but only a minority in Atlantic Canada (49 per cent), Ontario (46 per cent), British Columbia (46 per cent) and Alberta (42 per cent) said they believed that formal ties should be severed, the Ipsos poll found.
Six in 10 Canadians agree that the Queen and the royal family should not have any formal role in Canadian society, up two points since 2016. A majority of Canadians in every region agree with this position, ranging from 55 per cent in Alberta to 76 per cent in Quebec.
Of those surveyed, 24 per cent strongly agreed that when the 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends, Canada should end its formal ties to the British monarchy — a figure that has remained unchanged since 2016.
But despite the tumultuous times for the House of Windsor, the Ipsos poll showed an overwhelming number of Canadians agreed that Her Majesty has done a good job in her role as monarch.
The Queen’s approval rating — at least, in Canada — is at 81 per cent, an unwavering number since 2016.
“The main thing is that the Queen is out-polling the monarchy on this one,” said Gregory Jack, Ipsos vice-president of public affairs. “People seem very enamoured with her as an individual. They’re pretty supportive of her as the head of state. They like her. But when you ask Canadians to think about the monarchy beyond the Queen, they’re much less supportive.”
“People respect the way that she’s done her job. I think they respect her as a person, as an individual. And I think that people think that she has integrity.”
The poll, done exclusively for Global News between Jan. 24 and 27, surveyed a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 years and up in online interviews.
The proportion who strongly agree the Queen has done a good job is 36 per cent, up six points since 2016.
Approval of Queen Elizabeth’s performance is highest in British Columbia at 85 per cent, followed by Ontario at 84 per cent and Atlantic Canada, where 84 per cent of respondents said they thought the Queen was doing a good job. They were closely followed by Alberta at 82 per cent, Saskatchewan and Manitoba at 75 per cent. Queen Elizabeth’s lowest approval rating was in Quebec at 72 per cent.
The Queen is looked upon so favourably, Jack said, Her Majesty could be referred to as her own brand, separate from the rest of the royal family. He added that her lengthy reign, which spans 65 years — the longest in British history — could add to her high ratings.
READ MORE: What happens when Queen Elizabeth II dies?
“For many Canadians, this is the only monarch we’ve ever known. When she moves on, we’re going to have a new situation where people are not familiar with that. Familiarity sometimes breeds favourability and this might be the case here as well.”
Canadians are excited about Prince Harry and Meghan’s move, but don’t want to pay for their security
The poll found Canadians are mostly supportive of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to break away from their royal roles and are even excited to welcome them and baby Archie as part-time residents of Canada, but relatively few said they were willing to have their government or taxpayer dollars pay for their security costs while in Canada.
Just two in 10 respondents said they disagreed with the royal couple’s decision to remove themselves as working members of the royal family.
Of those surveyed, roughly 60 per cent reported they were excited about Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to move to Canada.
Excitement is highest at 70 per cent in British Columbia, where the Sussex family appears to be settling. Enthusiasm is only a little more muted in Ontario, at 62 per cent, and 60 per cent in Quebec.
Excitement is lowest in Atlantic Canada, where only 49 per cent of respondents expressed joy during their interviews, trailed closely by 56 per cent of those polled in Western Canada.
On the other side, only 30 per cent of Canadians agreed they were supportive of the Government of Canada paying a portion of the costs to provide security to Harry and Meghan while they’re in Canada.
The other 70 per cent of those polled said they wanted the government to withhold funds — underscoring the challenge for the Trudeau government on this file.
Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” This poll was conducted between Jan. 24 and Jan. 27, with a sample of 1,000 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.