Mail survey reveals public fury at the Sussexes as majority call for Harry and Meghan stripped of their titles, believe they said the wrong thing at the wrong time, do not deserve to be funded… and have damaged reputation of entire Royal Family
- Survey reveals the damaging impact Meghan and Harry’s interview has had on opinions of the Royal Family
- Poll showed most people who watched interview disbelieved Meghan’s claims of racism from family member
- Most felt the couple prioritised media attention over their duty – though there was a split between age groups
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.