Prince Harry blow after British public showed ‘little time for him’ in polls

Meghan and Harry: Time magazine cover mocked by comedians

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Harry, 37, and his wife, Meghan Markle, 40, featured on the cover of Time Magazine last week. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were named by the publication in its annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. The honour was announced on Harry’s 37th birthday by the couple’s friend, José Andrés, the chef who founded World Central Kitchen. While Harry and Meghan have been celebrated by Time, the pair’s reputation among the British public has slipped, according to royal historian Dr Edward Owens.

The expert shared his opinions about Harry and Meghan’s future following their seismic exit from the Royal Family and move to the US last year.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “In the British public opinion polls, he’s really fallen from grace.

“The British public have very little time for Harry compared to pre the start of 2019.”

Harry’s approval rating was 71 percent in October 2019, according to a poll from research company YouGov.

However, the Duke’s favourability rating had dropped to 55 percent by January of last year after the announcement that he and Meghan would step away from their royal roles.

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Again, YouGov carried out the poll, which included 1,624 participants, from January 9-10.

It has since dropped even further to 44 percent this month, according to a YouGov poll of 1,667 people carried out from August 27-29.

Meanwhile, positive opinions of Meghan also slipped from 55 percent in October 2019, to 49 percent in January 2020 to then to 33 percent this month.

It is understandable that anyone would be disappointed to see their popularity plummet so much in the space of a few years.

An article by the polling company linked the recent negative data to the fallout from their Oprah interview, as well as to their statements about the pandemic and Afghanistan.

In February the Queen confirmed that Meghan and Harry would not return as working members of the Royal Family, following a 12-month review of their positions.

Weeks later, Oprah Winfrey’s bombshell two-hour interview with the Sussexes was shown on CBS.

The US chat show host listened as the couple opened up about their reasons for stepping back from their public roles and made allegations of unfair treatment during their time within the Royal Family.

In July Harry then announced he would publish an “intimate and heartfelt memoir” next year, prompting speculation about whether he will open up more about his royal exit.

Dr Owens claimed that while a majority of the British public may have gone cold on Harry, the Duke’s memoir is likely to be well-received in the US.

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The former lecturer at the University of Lincoln and author of ‘The Family Firm. Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public, 1932-53’ said: “Harry is hot right now.

“He’s interesting and he’s got to make what he can out of that interesting story whilst people are still interested in him.

“It’s being largely written for an American audience, he’s damaged goods in the UK.”

Harry’s grandmother, the Queen, celebrates her Platinum Jubilee next year in recognition of her 70 years on the throne.

An extended bank holiday weekend is to be held from June 2-5 to mark the Queen’s historic reign as Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Dr Owens claimed that the book is unlikely to have an impact on the Jubilee and that Harry and Meghan will be invited to the celebrations.

He said: “At next year’s Jubilee, the monarchy, the Queen and her advisors will be saying ‘don’t worry about it, that’s going on over the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, this is a celebration of Britain, the Commonwealth’.

“I imagine Elizabeth will invite them next year to her Platinum jubilee, whether Meghan accepts.

“I imagine if they come for the Platinum Jubilee, it will be a bit like what happened with Philip’s funeral [in April], it will be a brief visit and then off again.”
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