Prince Harry’s book hasn’t changed minds about the royals

tThe British royal family has become practically synonymous with their famous “never complain, never explain” credo, especially after the release on Tuesday of the Prince Harry’s diary additionalwhich is in it It devotes 416 pages to do a fair amount of both.

Although, it may all be in vain. to me A recent study Among around 1,700 UK residents surveyed by British YouGov polls, more than half (54%) of the British public have a favorable view of the monarchy as an institution, although this figure has fallen from 60% in November following the Queen’s death. Elizabeth II. The poll, which was conducted Jan. 5-6, came amid a steady drip of revelations leaking out from additional Before it was officially launched, including the claim that Prince William assaulted Harry.

The only glaring exception to Spur The effect may be on the person least expected of Harry. The same survey found that Harry’s popularity among Britons has fallen to its lowest level since YouGov began tracking it more than a decade ago, with just over a quarter (26%) having a favorable opinion of him compared to nearly two-thirds (64). %) who have a negative one. This decline is seen even among younger Britons who have historically been more sympathetic to the Duke of Sussex.

Harry’s popularity has declined steadily since November 2017 (a period which coincides with his engagement to Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex), according to YouGov, with its biggest drop occurring in January 2020, when Buckingham Palace announced that the Sussexes would not be returning. To be a working member of the royal family. The only other monarch to see his popularity drop is his brother William, whose favorability has fallen more modestly by comparison – from 77% in December to 69% in early January. Attitudes toward remaining royals such as King Charles, Kate Middleton and Markle remained largely unchanged at 60%, 69% and 23%, respectively.

Read more: Why the royal family did not respond to Prince Harry’s memoirs

The lack of movement in British public opinion when it comes to the royal family isn’t entirely surprising. As an institution, the monarchy had long enjoyed broad, if waning, support among the British, even if by many of its own. Individuals he does not have. And while promoting the additional Highlighting many aspects of royal life – from the claim that Harry’s family was behind the negative stories that appeared about him and his wife in the British tabloid press to the ancient rules governing seemingly minute details like beard lengths – the revelations appear to largely bypass most Britons.

This can be explained at least in part by the British’s pre-existing views of the Sussexes, whose decision to withdraw from England for the warmer California coast may have been viewed by some as a kind of dissention. But it can also be explained by the very British preference for having a solid upper lip—the stoic quality that, by drawing back the palace curtains on the realities of royal life or (or, as Harry told, taking ownership of his own story), betrayed Harry.

“In Britain, I think it’s part of our DNA,” says royal expert Richard Fitzwilliam of the monarchy, noting that while Harry’s alienation is a serious rift within the family, there is nothing to do with the institution. You have not encountered it before. “There’s a dysfunction about the monarchy, about the way the family is forced to act, but then, on the other hand, it makes it all the more wonderful,” Fitzwilliam adds.

However, if the Sussexes can count on more support, it is in the US. In general, Americans tend to be more sympathetic to the Sussexes than Brits, particularly among those who see the royal couple as taking a stand against the racism Markle has faced in Britain. It helps that the United States, home to royalists and Anglophiles alike, tends to view the British royal family as an extension of celebrity culture, rather than as representatives of a sacred institution.

But if the Sussexes are not careful, they may risk alienating American sympathizers as well. “Everyone has a family, I have an argument with my family — am I going to post this for all the world to see,” He said CNN anchor Don Lemon. “I know he’s selling a book, but to me he’s just… a ghastly.”

“We have all fallen into a wormhole where we will never be free from hearing every detail of Prince Harry’s life.” chirp American TV personality Meghan McCain. “This will never end. It will never let us live!”

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write to Yasmine Sarhan in yasmeen.serhan@time.com.

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