In May 1953, as Queen Elizabeth II was preparing for her coronation in Great Britain, Americans broadly viewed her in a positive light, even as most did not express interest in the ceremony for the 26-year-old monarch.
The queen continued to be highly regarded in the U.S. throughout most of her 70-year reign. She frequently appeared among the top 10 most admired women in Gallup's annual rankings, and her favorability ratings were high except in the aftermath of Princess Diana's death in 1997.
Queen Rated Positively Before Coronation, but Little U.S. Interest in It
Although Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952 upon the death of her father, her coronation did not occur until 16 months afterward, allowing for a period of mourning and preparation. Several weeks before her June 1953 coronation, Gallup asked U.S. adults for their opinion of the queen in an open-ended question, and two-thirds described the British monarch using affirmative phrases.
Specifically, 22% of U.S. adults commented about the queen's positive qualities, 15% expressed overall approval of her, 14% referenced the competence she exhibited in her duties, and 9% considered her appearance or demeanor to be appealing. Additionally, 4% of Americans said Elizabeth II was admirable and queenly, and 2% thought she was intelligent. Few U.S. adults expressed a negative opinion of the queen (7%), but those who did were more critical of her office and the monarchy than they were of her specifically.
While views of the queen were broadly positive, 62% of Americans said they were not interested in the coronation of the 26-year-old monarch, and 38% said they were. Yet, interest was highly related to gender, as more than twice as many women (53%) as men (24%) said the coronation sparked their attention.
Positivity Toward Queen Elizabeth Persisted Into 21st Century
In 1957, more than eight in 10 Americans rated the queen favorably and just 7% unfavorably on a 10-point scale.
Gallup also measured American public opinion of the queen four times between 1997 and 2003. While Elizabeth's initial favorable rating in 1997 was 47% amid criticism of the monarch's behavior after Princess Diana's death, by the following year, it rose to 68% and was 75% just after the queen's golden jubilee in 2002.
Americans' respect for Queen Elizabeth is also evident in her frequent appearance on the top 10 list of most admired women living anywhere in the world. No woman appeared in the top 10 more often than the queen, who held that distinction 52 times among the 71 times Gallup asked the question between 1948 and 2020. Although she achieved a top 10 ranking 18 more times than the next closest woman (Margaret Thatcher), Elizabeth never made it to the very top of the list, a spot usually won by current or former U.S. first ladies or prime ministers of other countries. She was, however, the second most admired woman in 1952, 1957, 1958 and 1962.
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These data can be found in Gallup Analytics.
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