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UK Insights

Is America or Britain more excited for the #RoyalWedding2018?

Kirsty Cooke

Head of Digital Content, UK

TV 18.05.2018 / 13:52


A Lightspeed survey shows that the UK is more likely to watch the service live on 19 May, but men in the US are more excited for this wedding than they were for Wills and Kate…

The day has finally arrived. In less than 24 hours, Prince Harry will wed activitist and actor Meghan Markle in a ceremony at St George’s Chapel in London. With some controversy around procedure, protocol and guest lists, not to mention the fact that an English Prince is marrying (shock horror) an American divorcee, the public is nevertheless getting behind the happy couple and we can expect baking, street parties and commemorative tea towels across the nation in celebration.

But is the buzz in the UK matched in Meghan’s home country? Lightspeed conducted a survey of adults in both countries to find out, and it seems the US is only slightly behind us when it comes to enthusiasm for the royal nuptials.

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According to the survey, 43% of the UK will watch it live (46% of women and 38% of men). A further 15% of people in the UK will watch a recording (18% of women; 9% of men). That’s 58% in total watching in the UK – compared to 49% in the US.

Just 28% of the US public will watch it live (there is a time difference, to be fair) but an additional 20% plan to watch it later. It does seem women on both sides of the pond are more into the event: 52% of US women will watch it (live or otherwise) compared to 36% of men.

When asked whether they watched William and Kate’s wedding, there was a far bigger difference between UK and US answers. 45% of the US watched it (live or recorded) while 61% of the UK watched the event – most of them watched it live. A large majority of respondents in the UK indicated they are less excited about this Royal Wedding than William and Kate’s (73%).

However, 60% of men in the US (who are going to tune in to this weekend's event) say they’re actually *more* excited for this Royal Wedding... compared to 35% for UK males. Is this the effect of Suits, the successful US TV drama that Meghan sparkled in?

When asked who they were most excited to see at the Royal Wedding, US respondents were more likely to say ‘the celebrity guests’ (9% vs 6%) while UK respondents were more eager to see the whole Royal Family (34%, vs 30% in the US). Of course, ‘the bride and groom’ is what everyone is REALLY tuning in for, with 50% of the US and 47% of the UK most looking forward to seeing Harry and Meghan on their big day – regardless of who else turns up. 

Meanwhile on Twitter... Kantar Media data shows that, from Monday to Thursday this week, there were 583.5K Tweets posted about the Royal Wedding, globally. These have generated 1.2M Likes and 312M Impressions. Of these build-up Tweets, 131.9K have come from the UK (generating 85M Impressions) and 123.2K Tweets have come from the US (generating more Impressions, at 108.8M). There were also 13.7K Tweets from Canada and just over 10K from Australia.

Already today, the eve of the wedding, there have been 130.7K Tweets posted globally about the Royal Wedding – with ‘meghan’ appearing in 47.0K and ‘harry’ in 27.1K.

This wedding comes at a key time for the Royal Family, whose most prominent members have seen a significant slide in popularity amongst Britain’s youth in recent years. The positive buzz around the big wedding may help to act as an antidote to the shrinking admiration shown towards the royals by young people. According to Kantar Media TGI data, the percentage of 7-19-year-olds in the UK who 'admire' Prince William has gone from 44% in 2014 to 27% today. Kate Middleton's stats are similar: 45% to 27%. While 30% admired Prince Charles in 2014, this number has dropped to 13% today. The queen gets the most admiration from this age group, although levels have decreased from 46% in 2014 to 31% this year. 

Source : Lightspeed, Kantar Media

Editor's Notes

Lightspeed surveyed 986 people in the United States and 1265 people in the United Kingdom. For more information on our survey capabilities and methods, please contact us

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