Social Influence of an International Christian Leader: Mediated Responses to the Death of Queen Elizabeth II
Keywords:Queen Elizabeth II, social influence, celebrities, parasocial relationships, worship, identification
One of the most powerful periods of popular media’s social influence is during international media events. The September 2022 death and memorial of Queen Elizabeth II, one of the longest reigning monarchs in history, generated worldwide media coverage and reflection of her life. The present study of nearly 1800 consumers of popular media from 15 countries explores how audiences formed close psychological bonds with the Queen through the mediated processes of parasocial involvement, identification and worship. Testing of a theoretical model of these important and closely related forms of involvement with celebrities and international leaders effectively predicted financial donations to the Queen’s charities. Implications of this research for future studies of persona influence through popular media are discussed.