Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s popularity in the United Kingdom has fallen to a new low after the couple aired grievances about the royal family in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, a new YouGov poll found, but the reverse happened in the U.S., where a Morning Consult poll showed the couple’s primetime interview made Americans view the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a far more favorable light.
Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on CBS on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Harpo … [+]
YouGov’s poll found Markle has a net favorability rating of -27—down from -14 a week ago—with 31% of Britons having a positive opinion of her and 58% viewing her negatively.
Harry now has a net negative rating for the first time, with 45% of Britons viewing him positively and 48% negatively—a 15-point drop from Harry’s +12 net rating on March 5.
The couple is far more well-liked among younger people in the U.K.: Harry and Markle are viewed positively by 59% and 55% of 18-24 year olds, respectively, versus only 27% and 13% of those over age 65.
A Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults pre-interview and 838 post-interview found the share with a favorable view of Markle surged from 45% to 67% following the Oprah interview, and those with an unfavorable view only modestly increased from 14% to 18%.
Harry’s popularity with American respondents shot up from 46% to 69%, and those with a negative view similarly only slightly raised from 10% to 14%.
Morning Consult also polled 1,001 British adults after the interview, who ranked Meghan the lowest of any member of the royal family—29% viewed her favorably and 52% viewed her unfavorably—while 38% of Britons like Harry and 43% have a negative view.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s net favorability ratings with Americans also went up after the interview by smaller margins, while Kate Middleton and Prince Charles’ ratings slightly declined and Prince William’s remained the same at +33. In the U.K.’s YouGov poll, only Prince Charles suffered a noticeable drop in popularity following the interview, going from 57% viewing favorably to 49%.
63%. That’s the percentage of U.K. respondents to the YouGov poll who believe the country should still continue to have a monarchy—down from 67% in October 2020—while 25% want an elected head of state. Britons aged 18-24 are the only age group who favor an elected leader over the monarchy, though the 42% to 37% split is within the poll’s margin of error.
The two-hour interview with Winfrey featured a number of negative claims about the royal family. The couple claimed members of the family had expressed “concerns” about their son Archie’s skin tone—Markle is mixed-race—and the Duchess of Sussex divulged she suffered from suicidal thoughts during her time with the royal family and was refused mental health help from the royal institution. A statement from the palace and Queen Elizabeth II said the royal family was “saddened” to hear of the couple’s experiences and described the racial allegations as “concerning,” adding, “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.” The interview came as Markle was already facing controversy in the U.K., as the Times of London reported ahead of the Oprah broadcast the Duchess reportedly bullied members of her staff while with the royal family, allegations that the palace is now investigating. A spokesperson for Markle denied the claims against her and said she was “saddened by this latest attack on her character.”
Public opinion of Harry and Meghan falls to new low after Oprah interview (YouGov)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Get a Popularity Bump After Oprah Interview (Morning Consult)
Buckingham Palace Responds To Harry And Meghan’s Bombshell Oprah Interview (Forbes)
Meghan Markle ‘Saddened’ By Accusation Of Bullying Royal Staff ‘To The Point Of Tears’ Ahead Of Oprah TV Interview (Forbes)
‘The Woke Crowd Will Think That They’ve Canceled Me’: Piers Morgan Defends Critical Meghan Markle Coverage (Forbes)
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