Who Is Britain’s Favorite Royal?

Here's a hint: it's not about the hats

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From left: Prince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William attend the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh on July 30, 2011

It’s official: the British public wants to see more of a favorite Windsor, and it’s not the one with all the fantastic clothes. Even though Kate Middleton may be the one plastered across magazine covers on both sides of the Atlantic, it was her husband William who scored the highest rating on a recent U.K. survey.

According to research by U.K. research company Ipsos MORI, 62% of Britons said Prince William was their favorite royal. Surprisingly his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, placed fourth — behind William, the Queen and Prince Harry, whose recent bout of public nudity made for some embarrassing headlines in August but hasn’t seemed to hurt his popularity.

The survey, which was carried out earlier this month, also shows that only 7% of those surveyed are dissatisfied with the Queen’s performance in recent months. It’s been a fairly good run for the royals, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June and her appearance at the opening ceremony for the successful 2012 Olympics in July. Ipsos MORI reported that 9 out of 10 Britons were satisfied with the way the Queen is doing her job.

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General support of the royal family is similar to last year’s poll, with 79% saying they favor keeping the British monarchy rather than converting to a republic — a number that remains high following Will and Kate’s royal wedding in April 2011, which attracted 24.5 million viewers in the U.K. and nearly 23 million in the U.S., according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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The British public hasn’t always been this keen on the Windsors. The tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997 sent the royal approval ratings plummeting. Following Diana’s death, only 48% of Britons believed the country would be worse off without the monarchy, according to the Guardian. In the latest poll, however, 60% of Britons think that there will still be a monarchy in 50 years.

But while the royal family remains popular overall, supporters are still concerned about the amount of money that goes into funding their lifestyle. The Windsor family cost the British taxpayer nearly $50 million in 2012, plus their bill for security, reports the Daily Mail. More than half of those surveyed, 52%, agreed with the statement that “the royal family should not receive as much money as it does” — relatively unsurprising given that Her Majesty sailed down the Thames in June in a golden boat, while more than 2 million of her countrymen faced unemployment. However, even this number has fallen in recent years. In 1992, 76% of those surveyed believed the royal family received too much money.