Almost half of public support Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back

By Caitlin Doherty, PA

Almost half of Britons support the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to “step back” as senior royals, according to a new survey.

However, despite 45% of the public being in favour of their decision to take on fewer public duties, almost two-thirds (63%) say their funding from the Prince of Wales’ private Duchy of Cornwall estate should stop, according to figures from YouGov.

The Duchy of Cornwall currently makes up about 95% of the couple’s income.

It comes after Harry and Meghan vowed that they would work to become “financially independent” as they step down from their senior royal position.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday evening, the Sussexes outlined their plans for an independent future, dividing their time between the UK and North America.

The research suggests 26% of the public are opposed to the decision, while 30% did not express an opinion.

However, only 13% of people think they should stay in receipt of the Duchy of Cornwall money.

Despite the surprise announcement on Wednesday – described by royal sources as a “bolt from the blue” – almost half of people do not think it will have an impact on the wider reputation of the royal family.

A total of 49% of people questioned thought the decision would not have an effect, compared with 32% who think it will.

The duke and duchess, who have only recently returned from a six-week stay in Canada with eight-month-old son Archie, said in their statement: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.

“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen.”