Harry and Meghan lose support in US after Oprah interview, poll finds

Most people in Britain still back the monarchy after Sussexes’ revelations

FILE - This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry, from left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. Almost as soon as the interview aired, many were quick to deny Meghan’s allegations of racism on social media. Many say it was painful to watch Meghan's experiences with racism invalidated by the royal family, members of the media and the public, offering up yet another example of a Black woman's experience being disregarded and denied. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP, File)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lost support in the US after the couple's interview with Oprah Winfrey, according to a new poll.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan told Winfrey a member of the royal family was concerned about "how dark" their unborn son Archie's skin colour would be.

Meghan also said she suffered mental health issues during her time as a senior working royal in the UK but received no support from Buckingham Palace officials despite a request for help.

The poll, by YouGov US and The Economist, found the couple's popularity declined in the two weeks since the interview was broadcast.

Of the 1,400 polled, 54 per cent of respondents said they had a very or somewhat favourable opinion of Prince Harry, while 26 per cent had a very or somewhat unfavourable opinion of him, giving him a net score of 28.

The poll showed that 48 per cent of people had a very or somewhat favourable opinion of his wife Meghan, and 33 per cent had a very or somewhat unfavourable opinion of her, giving her a net score of 15.

The average scores for Harry and Meghan were both down more than 10 points from three weeks before the interview was broadcast, on February 17, when the duke had a net rating of 39 and the duchess scored 28.

In a separate UK poll published in the week after the interview, YouGov data showed that 45 per cent of British respondents had a positive opinion of Prince Harry, while 48 per cent regarded him negatively, giving him a net score of -3.

This represents a drop of 15 points from March 2, the first time British attitudes towards the prince are negative rather than positive.

Meghan's scores also fell considerably. Just 31 per cent have a positive opinion of her, while 58 per cent view her negatively.

This means the duchess has a net rating of -27, down from -14 in the week before the interview.

The UK poll showed public opinion of the duke and duchess was strongly associated with age.

A majority of people aged 18 to 24 support the duchess (55 per cent), while only a third (32 per cent) dislike her. The same is true for Harry, with three in five aged 18 to 24 (59 per cent) having a positive opinion of him, while only three in 10 (28 per cent) dislike him.

In contrast, most people aged 65 and older dislike Harry (69 per cent negative) and Meghan (83 per cent negative).

Despite the interview’s revelations, most people in Britain support the monarchy.

This photo illustration shows people wearing face masks, watch a televised conversation between Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and US host Oprah Winfrey, in Arlington, Virginia March 7, 2021. Britain's royal family on Sunday braced for further revelations from Prince Harry and his American wife, Meghan, as a week of transatlantic claim and counter-claim reaches a climax with the broadcast of their interview with Oprah Winfrey. The two-hour interview with the US TV queen is the biggest royal tell-all since Harry's mother princess Diana detailed her crumbling marriage to his father Prince Charles in 1995.  / AFP / OLIVIER DOULIERY

Queen Elizabeth II, who has been on the throne since 1952 and is now 94, is hugely popular.

An Ipsos Mori poll last week indicated that only 17 per cent of people believed the country would be better off without a monarchy.

After two days of crisis talks after the Winfrey interview went to air, Buckingham Palace said the issues raised would be dealt with privately by the royal family.

The monarch expressed her concern over allegations of racism and her sadness on learning exactly how challenging the couple had found life as working royals, although she said some recollections of events varied.

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