Prince Charles ‘frustrated’ at Prince Harry says royal expert
An exclusive Daily Express poll also found that most people dismissed the Sussexes’ claims of racism – and want the pair to stay in the US. The Savanta ComRes survey for the Daily Express uncovered evidence that Harry – a national hero after two tours of duty in Afghanistan – and Meghan, who was initially popular, have burnt their bridges with the nation. Support for the 94-year-old Queen has improved after the couple complained about their treatment in the Royal Family, during a tell-all TV chat with Oprah Winfrey. The representative poll found 61 percent of 2,145 adults asked believe that the Windsors are not racist – echoing Prince William’s insistence – compared with 28 percent who see them as prejudiced.
Harry and Meghan stepped away from royal duties, to sign multi-million pound media deals in California – and our poll revealed more than half of Britons (58 percent) want the Sussexes to stay there now.
While 14 percent would welcome them back if they remain outside the Royal Household, only 12 percent of the public want to see the Duke and Duchess return to official duties.
Almost half of Britons (49 percent) said reconciliation should be started by Harry and Meghan, with an apology to his grandmother; 31 percent thought the Royal Family should be first to say sorry.
Palace insiders and commentators said they were not surprised that the public had rallied around the Queen and most of her family.
Royal biographer Hugo Vickers acknowledged that Prince Charles had been damaged by Harry, who chose his harshest words when he complained his father had cut him off financially and had stopped taking his calls at one point.
He added: “That was intended to inflict damage on him but in the long run it won’t do. I’m sure Harry and Meghan’s popularity will be damaged in the long run.”
Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth II
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Mr Vickers said the Queen’s popularity had survived virtually unscathed after previous crises, such as after Princess Diana died, and had not suffered this time.
He said: “I think the Queen’s message was brilliant and should be in every anthology for people dealing with difficult family situations”.
Chris Hopkins, associate director of Savanta ComRes, said: “Harry and Meghan have taken a massive hit compared to other members of the Royal Family.
“People are taking Kate’s side when they see what Meghan has said about her. I would imagine Charles’s score here is partly the result of the fact that he wasn’t that popular in the first place.”
Asked if Meghan was right to accuse an unnamed royal of a racist comment about how dark her son Archie’s skin might be, 46 percent said she was wrong while 30 percent thought her correct.
The ex-actress claimed Archie was denied the title of Prince and refused police protection due to his colour.
Buckingham Palace responded to Meghan and Harry’s claims
She also alleged in the Oprah interview that the Royal Household did not help her when she had suicidal thoughts.
Meghan said aides failed to support her after she was blamed for a row with the Duchess of Cambridge, as they wanted to protect the future Queen.
Our poll revealed a generational divide, with younger people much more likely to back Harry and Meghan. More than half of people aged 18-34 (52 percent) believe the Royal Family is racist – but just one in 10 over 55 agreed with that (10 percent).
Half (50 percent) of the younger group said Meghan was right to make public her claim of royal racism; for the older section, that fell to just one in six (16 percent).
There is also a political divide: one third (36 percent) of those who voted Labour in 2019 think the Royal Family is prejudiced but just one in 10 (10 percent) of voters who backed the Tories agreed.
Almost half of 2019’s Conservative supporters (48 percent) believe the Royals are less racist than the average British family; for Labour voters, that is the view of only one in five people (19 percent).
Polls in the United States found Americans split mostly along political lines. Democrats are more likely to align with the Sussexes while Republicans back the rest of the Royal Family. But there is little difference between age groups.
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When Britons were asked which royal they respected most, the Queen was top with 48 percent. Harry was second on 13 percent, followed by Meghan, William, Kate, and then Charles.
Almost half, 48 percent, thought worse of Meghan after the Oprah interview, compared with 25 percent whose perception improved.
The same figure of one in four felt more positive about Harry and 42 percent said their opinion of him had worsened.
Charles’ popularity suffered, with 24 percent viewing him more negatively compared to 17 percent liking him more.
The reaction against the heir to the throne may present potential problems for the future direction of the monarchy but the poll suggests Britons have rallied around the Queen, William and Kate.
While 32 percent felt their opinion of the monarch had improved, only 12 percent thought worse of her. Some 28 percent thought better of Kate, against 15 percent who had a lower opinion than before, while 27 percent said their opinion of William had improved and 17 percent said it had worsened.
Meanwhile, the Queen called off Trooping the Colour and Garter Day for a second consecutive year.
Buckingham Palace aides announced yesterday both events had been cancelled due to concerns over crowds in the pandemic.
Queen Elizabeth II carrying out a virtual engagement
The Queen’s decision was made after consultations with the Government. Trooping the Colour is her Official Birthday Parade at Horse Guards in central London. Officials said a small event might be held in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, as it was last June.
There will no replacement for the annual procession and service of the Knights of the Garter, the oldest and most senior order of chivalry, which usually attracts a large crowd to the castle on the Monday of Royal Ascot Week.
Palace staff said: “Following consultation with Government and other relevant parties it has been agreed that the Queen’s Official Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will not go ahead this year in its traditional form in central London. Options for an alternative parade, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, are being considered. The annual Garter service, usually held in June, will not take place this year.”
As things stand, Royal Ascot will go ahead this summer with a small crowd allowed into the racecourse. The Queen, who was forced like other racing fans to watch her favourite meeting at home on television last year when it was held behind closed doors, is likely to want to attend.
No final decisions have been taken yet, royal sources said.
The monarch is at least expected to offer some form of normality to the public over the summer. Officials at the Royal Collection Trust, which oversees tourist visits to official residences, hope Buckingham Palace will open to visitors this summer.