Most Britons think the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were wrong to have given their explosive interview, a poll reveals today.
A majority of the public believes they have let down the Queen – and should be stripped of their royal titles.
The survey was conducted after millions watched the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview on ITV on Monday.
It reveals the monarchy has been damaged, with even the Queen’s personal popularity taking a hit – though not as much as that of Harry and Prince Charles.
But asked about the couple’s incendiary accusations of racism within the Royal Family, more people disbelieved Meghan’s claims than believed her.
She is now the least popular royal after Prince Andrew.
Most people felt Harry and Meghan prioritised media attention over service and duty, according to the findings of the online poll commissioned by the Daily Mail.
The results reveal a split between older and younger Britons – with the latter often more willing to accept Harry and Meghan’s claims.
The poll results came through on another dramatic day of news in which:
- Piers Morgan dramatically quit ITV’s breakfast show Good Morning Britain following a row over his criticism of the duchess;
- The announcement came just over an hour after media regulator Ofcom said it was investigating the show following a tide of complaints about his comments on Monday’s programme;
- The poll for the Mail also revealed that the monarchy had been damaged, with even the Queen’s personal popularity taking a hit;
- Meghan’s father Thomas Markle spoke for the first time since the interview to insist that the Royal Family were not racists;
- The duchess’s estranged father also branded his son-in-law ‘snotty’;
- A previously unseen clip from the interview showed Meghan hitting back at claims she and Harry were hypocrites for trying to control what people write about them;
- Boris Johnson maintained his silence on the row engulfing the Royal Family;
- Charles made his first public appearance since the interview at a north London church serving as a vaccine centre;
- ITV said the interview was watched by 12.4million viewers, the biggest peak audience of the year;
- One of Meghan’s former Suits co-stars criticised the Sussexes for staging an interview while the world was in the ‘throes of death’.
More than half of people surveyed believe Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was the wrong thing to do, while only a fifth believe the couple left Britain because they didn’t receive enough support from the Palace
Most Britons think the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were wrong to have given their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, an exclusive poll has revealed
While overall only one in three thought the interview was the right thing to do, this rose to half among 18 to 44-year-olds. And asked if they generally believed Harry and Meghan, or the Queen and Royal Family, 52 per cent of younger people chose the Sussexes.
Among those aged 45 and over, 50 per cent said the Queen and her family were more to be believed. Across all ages, once the ‘don’t knows’ were taken into account, more believed the Queen.
All ages agreed that both sides should now bury the hatchet and stop fighting. On the question of why Harry and Meghan moved to America, the largest proportion said ‘they wanted the perks of royal life but not the responsibilities’.
With the Duke of Edinburgh recovering from heart surgery in hospital, a majority (54 per cent) said the couple had chosen ‘the wrong time’ to do the interview.
Meghan and Harry accused an unnamed member of the Royal Family of racism during their interview with Oprah Winfrey, but more people surveyed disbelieved Meghan’s claims than believed her
A majority of the public believes they have let down the Queen (pictured with Meghan in 2018) and should be stripped of their royal titles. The sobering survey revealed the monarchy has been damaged, with even the Queen’s personal popularity taking a hit – though not as much as that of Harry and Prince Charles
The public did not support the Sussexes’ claim they had received negative media coverage from their wedding day to their departure last year. It found 35 per cent said it was about right, with 8 per cent finding the coverage too favourable. Only 36 per cent found it unfavourable.
Asked to tick a selection of emotions, respondents’ most common feelings about the interview were disappointment (41 per cent) and anger (25 per cent).
The survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted by pollsters JL Partners lays bare the damage caused by the bombshell interview.
Of those who knew about its contents, one in three said their view of the monarchy had worsened – although an even greater proportion said their view of Harry and Meghan had got worse.
More than half of those aged over 45 said their opinion of the couple had gone down. With the exceptions of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal, all senior members of the family have suffered a dip in personal popularity.
The Queen still commands a 64 per cent net positive rating, but it is 2 percentage points down since January last year. Harry’s net popularity has dived 15 points, Charles’s 13 points and Meghan’s 6 points. Almost half of respondents gave her a negative rating.
More than half of those aged over 45 said their opinion of the couple had gone down following the globally-viewed interview
Prince William looked stoney-faced as he drove through London on Tuesday, following his brother’s bombshell interview. A poll revealed 45% of people think relationships will never be patched up between William, Harry and Prince Charles
The poll results show the public do not believe the Royal Family or the country to have been racist to Meghan. Asked if she was a victim of racism within the family, 41 per cent said they did not believe it, compared with 34 per cent who did. On whether the country had been racist towards her, 44 per cent said they did not believe this and 37 per cent said they did.
But again, among younger respondents and those from black and minority ethnic groups, more than half sided with Meghan.
Overall, only 14 per cent thought she came across ‘very well’.
Among older people, the greatest proportion (39 per cent) thought Harry and Meghan were not telling the truth. But 59 per cent of younger people thought that they were.
Most people (57 per cent) thought the couple’s interview had damaged the monarchy, with 54 per cent saying the Queen had been let down. People of all ages said UK taxpayers should not fund the Sussexes’ security abroad.
Almost half (49 per cent) said the couple had treated the Queen ‘shoddily’ and Harry should relinquish his rights of accession to the throne.
Queen says ‘recollections vary’ on Palace race row as she breaks silence and vows to launch full – but private – household inquiry
The Queen last night said ‘recollections vary’ over past events following explosive claims made by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as she last night broke her silence on the couple’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.
Amid the toxic race row, the Palace publicly addressed the couple’s allegations last night, with a statement issued on behalf of the monarch.
Responding to allegations about their treatment at the hands of senior royals, the Queen said that the family was ‘saddened’ to learn how ‘challenging’ life had been for the couple.
She admitted their claims about racism were ‘concerning’ and would be taken ‘very seriously’. And she promised to a launch a full – but private – household inquiry.
Her three-paragraph, 61-word statement issued at 5.30pm – after more 36 hours of highly-damaging conjecture following the bombshell Oprah interview – also made clear it would be her last word on the subject.
She now intends, says Buckingham Palace, to deal with the bitter family rift privately.
An official statement was released on behalf of The Queen on Tuesday evening, following the bombshell interview, which aired in the UK on Monday night
There was no immediate reaction from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex but the Mail understands their representatives were sent the monarch’s statement prior to its publication.
Buckingham Palace officials drew up a draft statement on Monday but it was held back because the Queen wanted more time to consider her response.
While many publicly questioned why the Palace would leave such damaging allegations unanswered for a day and a half after the interview aired on CBS in the US on Sunday evening, senior royal sources told the Mail last night that they believed a ‘measured’ approach was right.
The Mail understands there is definite resentment in some quarters of the royal household about the couple’s decision to give the interview, just as there was when they blindsided the Queen by publicly announcing their intentions to step down as working royals last year without informing her first.
The plan inside palace corridors is to treat the couple with ‘kindness and compassion’ while also ‘standing their ground’.
The decision of the Sussexes to bare their souls to one of the most powerful women in the US entertainment industry has plunged the Royal Family into the biggest, and potentially most damaging, crisis since the tragic death of Harry’s mother, Diana.
Among their most incendiary claims, broadcast on Monday, was that a member of Harry’s family expressed concern about how dark their first-born child would be.
The allegation has sparked a global guessing game after the couple refused to name the person concerned, saying it would be ‘too damaging’ for their reputation.
Meghan also alleged that racism was at the heart of what she believed was the couple’s second-rate treatment by senior royals and officials.
She further accused them of trying to strip her son, Archie, of his future title and security. And she claimed that when she became suicidal, officials blocked her from receiving professional help as it would have been damaging to ‘the institution’.
The allegations plunged the Palace into turmoil, prompting crisis talks between the Queen and her two immediate heirs, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.
Some courtiers favoured a point-for-point rebuttal of the claims, but others believed that a more ‘gentle’ approach was required in the face of Harry and Meghan’s clear anger and hurt.
Courtiers also said they believed it was only right to allow viewers in the UK to watch the programme for themselves when it aired a day later, on ITV on Monday night, before issuing a statement.
Charles got into the back of a car after ignoring a question about the interview earlier today, as he put on a brave face amid the continuing scandal
‘It has been important for us to carefully consider any response before issuing and of course releasing something today [Tuesday] meant viewers in the UK had the opportunity to watch the interview, if they wished to, first,’ said one.
The statement was at pains to stress the family’s ‘love’ for Harry and Meghan, but the final result was far more bullish – in a typically elegant and refined manner – than many observers had expected.
Issued by the Palace on behalf of Her Majesty, it made clear that she refused to let everything Harry and Meghan said go unchallenged. But sources also stressed that she wanted to bring the couple back into the fold.
One royal insider told the Mail that ‘no one benefited from a tit for tat’ battle and that there was ‘immense sadness’ that such a deeply personal rift was being played out on a public stage.
The carefully-worded statement was a ‘clear olive branch’ to the Sussexes, who have made no secret of their righteous fury at being asked to completely step down as working royals and hand back their official patronages following their acrimonious decision to quit the UK and move to the US in pursuit of lucrative commercial careers.
Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton bore a grim expression as she was seen driving herself through London yesterday. With the exceptions of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal, all senior members of the family have suffered a dip in personal popularity since the Oprah interview first aired
But it was a bitter pill for some to swallow. There was no further clarity last night about what the differences in ‘recollections’ were, although it was clear, by the juxtaposition in the statement, that race was one of them.
It is believed that senior royals strongly consider the vast majority of the issues aired by Harry and Meghan were ‘family matters’, including Meghan’s claim that she was denied the chance to seek support for her mental health issues.
The poll for the Mail found that even among the younger generation – the couple’s biggest fans – a greater number felt they should lose their titles.
Among those aged 45 and over, 62 per cent were in favour of them losing their royal titles, with only 21 per cent saying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should retain them.
For those aged 18 to 44, the divide was less severe, but still in favour – with 38 per cent calling for them to forgo being royal, compared with 36 per cent saying they should keep their status.
Harry could never be stripped of his birth title, Prince Harry, although he could personally choose not to use it.
His late mother, Princess Diana, agreed to give up her HRH title when she and Prince Charles divorced, although Palace officials are known to have ruled this out last year as an option for her son and his wife as it would be seen to be ‘punitive’.
Theoretically, the couple could also have their titles, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, removed.
Again, though, Palace officials have also said this would never happen, because they were given to the couple as a ‘wedding gift’ by the Queen. If it were ever to happen, Meghan would become Princess Henry of Wales.