Lorraine on Prince Harry revelations "it's enough now"
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Prince Harry has been warned the several interviews and media project he agreed to with Meghan Markle since stepping down as working royals have “devastated their reputation” in the UK. Royal correspondent Jack Royston noted the Duke of Sussex has seen his popularity dwindle the more comments he made about his relationship with the Royal Family. And with his memoir Spare due for release next week, Prince Harry could face a further disastrous drop as he seek to reconcile with the King and the Prince of Wales.
Mr Royston reviewed popularity polls about the Royal Family since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they would quit, noting the pair suffered an initial hit but people still supported them after their departure.
In the months leading up to his departure from the Royal Family, a YouGov poll found Prince Harry was like by 72 percent of respondents and disliked by the 21 percent.
He was considerably more popular than the late Duke of Edinburgh and King Charles III, who polled around 30 percent in popularity.
But the first foray into the public scene since stepping down, the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, delivered the first in a series of popularity collapses that still continue to this day.
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Writing on Newsweek, Mr Royston said: “The couple took a hit to their reputations after their decision to quit, but Harry was still more liked than loathed and they looked set to reap the rewards of their new lives in the United States 2020, signing big money deals.
“But after their interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, Harry’s popularity crashed deep into negative territory in the United Kingdom and it hasn’t recovered since.”
The royal correspondent added: “In other words, while Meghan and Harry’s royal bombshells have earned them huge exposure and no doubt boosted both their multi-million dollar, multi-year Netflix and Spotify deals, criticizing Harry’s family appears to have devastated their reputation in Britain and there is little sign it has improved their standing in American public opinion.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex suffered a further slump in popularity ahead of the release of their Netflix documentary in December.
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According to YouGov’s polling of 1,677 adults between December 7 and 8, Prince Harry dipped into the negatives with -26 net score compared to the -13 he recorded in November.
Meghan Markle fared even worse at -39, a seven-point increase on the previous month.
Senior working members of the Royal Family also experienced a drop but remained in the green, with Prince William and Kate, the Princess of Wales leading at +62 and +57 respectively.
And Meghan and Harry have been warned their current communication strategy could ultimately backfire and put their past claims into question.
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Speaking to Express.co.uk, marketing expert Edward Coram James warned the couple risks coming off as “inauthentic” should the Duke escalate further with his allegations in his memoir.
Mr Coram James said: “In many ways, Harry and Meghan have missed a huge opportunity. When they left the UK, they were already some of the most high profile people int he world.
“Had they focused their efforts on championing the causes that they have spent many years focused on: support for wounded veterans, the environment and help for vulnerable women and communities, they could have sent packing all but their most ardent of detractors and built a solid international reputation for advocacy work.
“Instead, they focused on scandal to gain notoriety. I just do not understand the logic behind this strategy. Almost every time anyone has ever tried this, it has backfired. Does the Sussexes team not know this?”
The Go Up founder added: “At this point, if he escalates, it will look inauthentic: that he is only escalating because he wants more headlines, and this will call into question the authenticity of any claims made.
“The best thing that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could do at this point is pivot. Use the memoir to focus on all of the incredible work that Harry has done with the Invictus Games, and yes colour in some of the struggles that he has faced. But, you can colour your own struggles without attacking others.”
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