Harry and Meghan less popular than Prince Andrew among older Britons, new poll reveals

(L-R) Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, are seated as they attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019. - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has been the Head of the Commonwealth throughout her reign. Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's popularity has plunged even further than Prince Andrew's, a poll suggests. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's popularity has crashed further among the British public following the release of the Duke of Sussex's tell-all book, Spare.

In fact, according to a new poll by YoGov, older Britons dislike the couple even more than the disgraced Prince Andrew.

Harry has defended his autobiography, claiming it has given him a chance to tell his story amid claims members of the Royal Family and their aides spent years planting stories about him and Meghan in the press.

But the duke has been criticised for revealing unnecessary details about his family members, with some accusing him of airing his dirty laundry in public.

One in five Britons (21%) believe the main motivation behind Spare's release is for the prince to “tell his side of the story”, according to YouGov's survey, but around twice as many (41%) believe it’s to make money.

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The fallout of Prince Harry's memoir has sent his popularity crashing. (YouGov)
On the day that Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex's book entitled 'Spare' is published in the UK, hardback copies are revealed and are now on sale in the Waterstones bookshop in Victoria, on 10th January 2023, in London, England. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)
Prince Harry's autobiography has become the fastest selling non-fiction book ever. (Getty Images)

As Harry's book continues to make headlines with a number of explosive claims about his family, the latest poll has found just 24% now think positively of Prince Harry, while 68% have a negative opinion.

This gives him the lowest ever rating on YouGov's royal favourability tracker, having dropped to -44 from -38 last week, which was a previous record low.

His unpopularity is most marked among older Britons – while 60% of over-65s have a “very” negative view of Prince Andrew, that rises to 69% for Meghan and 73% for Harry.

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Princess Anne is now the most popular royal among over-65s. (YouGov)

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The psychodrama being fought by the Royal Family in the media has clearly dented the institution's reputation, with the number of people who say they're embarrassed of the monarchy rising from 15% to 21% since September.

At the same time, the proportion people in the UK who say they’re proud of the British monarchy has fallen from 55% in September to 43% this week.

Again, those aged between 18 and 24 are significantly more likely to be put off than their elders, with 35% saying they’re a little or very embarrassed, compared to just 11% of those aged 65 and over.

Even if Harry and Meghan are invited to King Charles' coronation in May, there is a good chance they won't attend after the stir caused by Spare, and a series of TV interviews in the run-up to its release.

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Britons are less enthused about the Royal Family amid the drama engulfing the palace. (YouGov)

It follows the couple's Netflix documentary series, Harry & Meghan, and an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 in which more bombshell claims were made about the royals.

Some of the key claims made recently by the duke include that his brother William physically attacked him and pushed him to the floor during a confrontation in which he described Meghan as "rude" and "abrasive".

Harry also describes his step-mother, Queen Consort Camilla, of planting stories about him in the press ahead of her marriage to Charles in order to "rehabilitate" her public image.

The duke told CBS' Anderson Cooper that she had "sacrificed" him "on her personal PR altar" to win favour with the media.

When asked by ITV's Tom Bradby about the "consistently scathing" comments, Harry said: "No part of any of the things that I've said are scathing toward any member of my family, especially not my stepmother."

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Britons share their view on why Harry decided to write his memoir. (YouGov)

Harry has also denied that he and Meghan ever said members of the Royal Family were racist – one of the main focal points of their Oprah interview – claiming the media had made that assumption.

He told Bradby that Meghan's claims of an unnamed family member making "troubling" comments and expressing "concerns" about their baby Archie's skin colour was a result of "unconscious bias" – not racism.

Whatever Harry's true intentions, the claims were perceived to be about racism, and the duke has been criticised for staying silent on the issue for two years while leaving his family to deal with the fallout.

Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace have not commented on the duke's book.