Royal Corner

Harry and Meghan's Popularity Plummets

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex saw their popularity plummet in a new poll conducted by YouGov.

OCTOBER 28th, 2020

Trooping The Colour 2019 - © Getty Images


new poll has seen Harry and Meghan’s, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, popularity plummet since stepping back from their roles within the Royal Family in January. The poll, conducted by YouGov found that the couple severely divided opinion – specifically Harry – where only 49% of the public have a positive impression of the Prince, whereby 47% have a negative view.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex fared even worse, with only 33% holding a positive view of the Duchess and 59% negative – meaning that nearly six in ten Brits have an unfavourable opinion of her. Furthermore, Meghan scored the second lowest score on the poll only beating Prince Andrew who has continued to see his popularity plunge in wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

© Getty Images

It wasn’t all bad news for the couple however, as they hold respectable scores among adults aged between 18 and 24. For Meghan, 54% of young people held a positive view of the Duchess and 59% for Prince Harry. Only 34% of the group had a negative opinion of the Duchess of Sussex and 31% respectively for Harry.

Yet sadly for Harry and Meghan those negative percentages increase throughout the older generations resulting in 71% of 65+ year olds having an unfavourable view of the once popular prince. Meghan was the more unpopular member of the couple with 81% of the same group harbouring a negative opinion.

Elsewhere, the results marked a different story, specifically for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. William and Kate continue to hold high levels of favourability within the public consensus, with the Duchess of Cambridge’s popularity steadily increasing. 76% of Brits hold a positive opinion of Kate, which is a slight rise since March. Prince William is the second most popular member of the Royal Family behind the Queen, with a popularity rating of 80%. Whilst this is minor decrease since March, William has consistently maintained public support, even with the release of the controversial biography Finding Freedom.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Berlin in 2017 - © Getty Images

Remarkably, William and Kate held positive scores across all age groups, with Kate being the most popular, scoring a 57% positive opinion amongst 18 to 24-year olds and 73% with 25 to 49-year olds. Prince William was only slightly below his wife in the 18 to 24 category with 54%, though beat his wife with 79% in the 25 to 49 age group.

Both William and Kate scored an impressive 89% approval rating amongst those ages 65 and over, meaning that across the entire age ranges, they are the most popular royals after The Queen.

With results that may continue to arise debates on the line of succession, Prince Charles has seen a steady decrease in popularity since March. 59% of the public hold a positive view of the Heir to the Throne, and 44% have a favourable opinion of Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall.

Naturally Prince Andrew is the Royal Family’s least popular member with 80% of the public having a negative view of the Queen’s second son. This isn’t a surprise considering the unfolding case surround Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew has consistently denied any allegations of sexual misconduct.

Prince Charles and Camilla, The Duchess of Corwall in Greece, 2018 - © Getty Images

On the opposite side of the popularity scale, The Queen’s popularity remains unwavering with over eight in ten Brits holding a positive view of the monarch. This is an increase since March, with many claiming her rousing speech at the start of the pandemic being the main reason of the rise. With 83% of the public having a favourable opinion of the Queen, it makes her the most popular royal amongst all age groups.

Surprisingly, Prince Phillip who made a brief return to public life in July this year to hand over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at a ceremony at Windsor Castle, also saw a surge in support with 60% of Brits holding a positive opinion of the 99-year-old Duke – an astonishing score considering he has been retired from public life since 2017.

The results will make positive reading for some members of the Royal Family, and troubling for others. After the stormy seas of the Finding Freedom book and the perceived dive into politics by Harry and Meghan, it seems as if the public have continued to turn against the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“It shows a serious change in opinion against Harry and Meghan,” claims a YouGov source. “You can clearly see a large decrease of popularity against the couple. This is most severe amongst the results of Prince Harry who has seen an almighty fall from grace.”

Prince Andrew pictured with Jeffrey Epstein in New York - © AP

When asked what was believed to be the cause of that described fall: “The supposed treatment of the Queen and Prince William,” was the answer.

With Prince William and Harry’s relationship in freefall, much of the public have taken William’s side, with many of those asked preferring the Duke of Cambridge’s silence on the matter. “We saw a genuine trend in support of William, specifically after the release of Finding Freedom,” claimed the source. “The lack of response from the Cambridge’s earned them a lot of respect considering the alleged nature of the book.

“For Harry and Meghan, the biography vastly impacted their popularity amongst the public, and Meghan’s ongoing dramatic libel case against The Mail on Sunday has also been detrimental to her public standing.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from royal duties earlier this year and currently live in LA. The couple were alleged to have contributed to a royal biography Finding Freedom, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand – a claim both authors have denied.

You can find the full results from the YouGov poll here.

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