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Revealed: How many Britons would be comfortable with a gay monarch | Ents & Arts News



Speculation over Queen Anne’s sexuality was the genesis of tonight’s Oscar-nominated period film, The Favourite.

But would the Britain of today be comfortable with a lesbian, gay or bisexual monarch?

According to a Sky Data poll, 63% of the public would be comfortable with a LGB person on the throne.

The survey also asked people how comfortable they would be with a LGB monarch, prime minister, boss and child.

More than three quarters – 77% – were comfortable with an LGB boss.

The new star of the Crown spoke about the all female cast
Olivia Colman plays Queen Anne in The Favourite

And more than two thirds of those surveyed – 68% – said they were comfortable with an LGB prime minister.

But while 63% of people said they were comfortable with an LGB king or queen, fewer said they would be comfortable with a LGB child.

Three fifths – 60% – said they felt okay with the idea, while 27% said they were uncomfortable and 13% said they did not know.

Clinical psychologist Dr Michael Yates said people’s reactions appeared to depend on how close they were to the person they were being asked about.

“The idea of having a gay boss or a gay prime minister may be less threatening as our relationships to these individuals are more distant and based on professional or public interactions,’ said Dr Yates, who specialises in sexuality at the Havelock Clinic in London.

He added: “The idea of a child being gay – although not seen through the lens of complete rejection and outrage it once was – is still in many ways considered a second choice.

“Visibility of sexual difference in many walks of life has increased and LGBT+ individuals and their allies have been able to dispel stereotypes that denigrate homosexuality and gender differences.”

Edward II
Edward II is thought to have been infatuated with nobleman Piers Gaveston

In The Favourite, Queen Anne, played by Olivia Coleman, has two female lovers: Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, and Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham.

Historians disagree about whether this is accurate. Some say there is no evidence for it, but others believe she may have had same-sex relationships.

Similarly, Edward II (1284 – 1327) is thought to have been infatuated with nobleman Piers Gaveston, whom he immediately recalled from exile when he gained the throne, gifting him the earldom of Cornwall – previously a title conferred on royalty.

Leo Varadkar
Irish PM Leo Varadkar came out as gay on national radio

The married king also lavished other favourite men with gifts, power and influence throughout his lifetime.

And letters between King James VI and the Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers, reveal the closeness of their relationship.

While Britain is yet to have an LGB prime minister, some European nations already do.

Irish Taioseach Leo Varadkar is gay, and came out on national radio ahead of a referendum on same sex marriage to declare his support.

Mr Varadkar became Irish prime minister in the same month as Serbia elected its first gay leader, Ana Brnabic.

Serbia's prime minister, Ana Brnabic, attends a gay pride event in Belgrade in September 2017
Serbia’s prime minister, Ana Brnabic, attends a gay pride event in Belgrade in September 2017

Same-sex marriage is not legal in the socially conservative country and same-sex partnerships are not officially recognised.

But Ms Brnabic is openly gay and her partner, Milica Djurdjic, gave birth to their child on 20 February this year.

Sky Data interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,119 GB adults online between 23-26 November 2018. Data are weighted to the profile of the population. Sky Data is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

For full Sky Data tables, please click here.

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