Public opinion soared for the Queen throughout the coronavirus pandemic as it plummeted for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a new poll revealed today.
A YouGov Royal favourability tracker which polled Brits across January, March and October found Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s standing with the public fell during lockdown and its aftermath.
Despite being removed from public-facing roles, Prince Andrew’s favourability has continued to fall in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
Perception of Prince Philip also continues to rise, with the Duke of Edinburgh’s net score now up 3 points since March to 28.
And the majority of those polled also thought Prince Charles should write to Government ministers on topics he felt strongly about like the environment.
The survey also found the public believe William and Kate’s influence on the royal family over the next decade will outweigh that of Harry and Meghan and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
Some 68% believe William and Kate would have the most influence on the royal family over the next decade, while 12% said Charles and Camilla and 7% Meghan and Harry.
Favourable public opinion about the Sussexes has dropped in past 12 months according to YouGov, falling significantly after they said in early January they wanted to step back as senior members of the royal family and work to become financially independent.
Harry’s positive rating was 71% in October last year, but fell to 55% days after his bombshell announcement, while Meghan’s rating also dropped, from 55% to 38%, over the same period.
During the pandemic crisis the Queen made two important televised addresses to the nation and William and Kate have carried out events in support of businesses as society re-opened or thanked frontline and key workers, as did Charles and Camilla.
When the public were asked if they had a positive opinion of the Queen, 83% said they did, up on the March figure of 79%, while 80% felt favourably about William and 76% about Kate – an increase for the couple.
Charles’ positive rating remained the same at 59%, while for Camilla it increased slightly to 44%.
In the past, Charles has written what have been dubbed ‘black spider memos’ to Government minister on issues like the environment, and 63% of those polled thought it ‘appropriate’ he contact politicians on ‘policy issues’, while 24% disagreed.
When asked who should succeed the Queen, opinion favoured William with 41% saying he should be the next monarch, compared to 37% for Charles.
The poll found 67% of those questioned believed the UK should continue with a constitutional monarchy, while 21% wanted an elected head of state.