Skip to Content

BBC Defender of the Faith Poll

 A survey of the public conducted on behalf of the BBC.

Date Published: 14 May 2012

Categories: Public and communities | Social | UK



Almost three quarters of people in England think that the Queen and future monarchs should keep the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England and ‘Defender of the Faith’.
Additionally four-fifths (79%) of those who took part in a survey by ComRes for BBC local radio agree the Queen still has an important faith role.
73 per cent also think she should still be Defender of the Faith – a title which was originally given to Henry VIII - and remain as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Only a quarter (25%) agree that the Queen and future monarchs should not have any faith role or title at all.
The survey also found opinion divided on the suggestion by Prince Charles that he might change the religious role of the monarchy.
He has called for greater understanding between people of different faiths and says he would personally rather see his role as 'Defender of Faith' not ‘The Faith’.
Half of those surveyed (50%) say that they agree that if Prince Charles becomes king his title should be changed to Defender of Faith compared with 35 per cent who said they disagree with the proposed change to
the title.
The survey found some regional variations in attitudes to the faith role of the monarch.
A third of Londoners (32%) agree that the Queen and future monarchs should have no faith role or title at all compared with 19% in the South West.
For press enquiries please contact Helen Holt on 07711911975 or [email protected] or Jo Waters on 07949 770409 or email [email protected]
Note to editors:
Poll Methodology
ComRes interviewed 2,591 adults in England by telephone between 30th March and 15th April 2012. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all English adults. For the full data tables please go to 


View Polls

Read More