Prince Harry’s nosedive from the most popular member of the Royal Family to where he is now ‘adds to his anger’, a royal expert has claimed.
The Duke and Duchess’ popularity has hit an all-time low as the couple continue to suffer the fallout from their interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, according to polling by YouGov.
Positive opinion of Harry, 36, who now lives in an £11million mansion in Montecito, California, with his wife and two children, has fallen by nine points from 43 per cent in April to 34 per cent now.
Meghan, 40, has seen a steady decline in her popularity this year, with positive opinion at 30 per cent in March, falling to 29 per cent in April, and dropping a further three percentage points to 26 per cent now.
The Duke and Duchess’ popularity has hit an all-time low as the couple continue to suffer the fallout from their interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, according to polling by YouGov
Former royal editor Duncan Larcombe, who has reported on Harry since he was a teenager, said going from being the most popular royal to where he is now – barely on speaking terms with his family – ‘must be really hard for him and probably adds to his anger’.
‘Meghan too was so welcomed in the beginning, but now the UK has lost trust in her. Their popularity has totally nosedived,’ he told Closer magazine.
‘It’s worrying to think what Harry has left if his American life fails for him. I don’t think he’ll be welcomed back as a working royal, but he would as a brother, son and grandson.
‘If Harry’s not on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, waving to the crowds, on the day his father or his brother becomes King, then I think the public will be done with him.’
YouGov blames ‘poor responses to their statements surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the withdrawal from Afghanistan’, for the recent drop in their popularity.
The couple were criticised for wading into Afghanistan crisis with woke ‘word salad’ statement, in which they said they were ‘speechless’ and feeling ‘the many layers of pain’.
Former royal editor Duncan Larcombe said going from being the most popular royal to where he is now ‘must be really hard for him and probably adds to his anger’.
The lengthy statement, released via the couple’s slick Archewell Foundation website, calls on followers to support organisations including the World Central Kitchen, but failed to say how much they would be personally donating or details of how they would help.
YouGov also cited as their Oprah Winfrey interview, in which the couple accused an unnamed member of the royal family of making a racist comment about what skin tone their son Archie may have.
Who are the most popular royals?
YouGov polled 1,667 adults in GB between August 27th and 29th.
These are the most popular royals (rated very positive or positive) according to its results.
The Queen: 80 per cent (net: +74)
Prince William: 78 per cent (net: +62)
Kate Middleton: 75 per cent (net: +59)
Princess Anne: 65 per cent (net: +50)
Prince Edward: 45 per cent (net: +20)
Prince Charles: 54 per cent (net: +17)
Camilla Parker Bowles: 43 per cent (net: +1)
Prince Harry: 34 per cent (net: -25)
Meghan Markle: 26 per cent (net: -39)
Prince Andrew: 6 per cent (net: -77)
Prince Harry declined to say who made the comment, but stressed it wasn’t the Queen or Prince Philip.
The couple sent shockwaves through the monarchy in January last year when they announced their intention to step down as senior members of the Royal Family and embark on a new life across the Atlantic.
But they’ve attracted criticism after expressing a desire for privacy, then laying bare their split from the Firm in their explosive Oprah sit-down and signing multi-million pound deals with Netflix, Spotify and Apple TV.
Harry also revealed he’s publishing a tell-all memoir with Penguin Random House in 2022 as part of a lucrative four-book deal believed to be worth up to £29million.
Duncan acknowledged that the Duke has found a degree of freedom in now being able to say what he wants, but believes the couple have ‘totally isolated themselves’ as a result of their rift with the royals.
He added that there is now tremendous pressure on the Sussexes to deliver and make a success of their shiny new life in the States, suggesting they’re ‘more trapped than ever in this new life they’ve created’.
Duncan said the fact they’ve caused such an uproar for both the Firm and in the media, they now don’t have the option of failing as it would be ‘the ultimate humiliation’.
‘If Netflix aren’t happy and the production doesn’t get the audiences that they’re expecting, they won’t give them another contract,’ he observed. ‘They’ve entered a commercial world and it’s cut-throat.’
The Sussexes are not not the most unpopular royals; that dubious honour goes to Prince Andrew, who has an overall negative rating of 83 per cent and a positive rating of just six per cent, due to his connection to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The public’s favourite royal – as ever – is the Queen with 80 per cent of the population having a favourable opinion of the monarch.