The poll that shows Britons have little sympathy for either Harry and Meghan or the royals

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

Watch: UK public opinion divided as dust settles on bombshell Prince Harry and Meghan interview

A third of Britons have "no sympathy" for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after they revealed their side of the royal story in an explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Harry laid bare his rifts with Prince Charles and Prince William in the interview, while Meghan said she had felt like "didn't want to be alive any more" and that she had no support from inside the palace.

While the interview hasn't yet been shown in full in the UK, a snap YouGov poll showed that the headlines that have dominated the news cycle all day have not helped the couple's sympathy ratings in the UK.

But the royal family didn't command much more support, with just two-fifths of those polled saying they had 'a lot' or a 'fair amount' of sympathy with senior members of the royals.

A snap poll from YouGov of 2,111 British adults on 8 March showed that from what they had heard and read, 47% of people thought the interview was inappropriate.

About a fifth (21%), said the interview was appropriate, but 31% said they did not know – potentially a reflection on the fact it has not aired in full yet.

Asked if they have sympathy for Harry and Meghan, based on what they had seen and heard, 33% said they had no sympathy at all.

Three in 10 (29%) had some sympathy, with 12% of Britons saying they had "a lot of" sympathy.

More than a fifth (23%) had not very much sympathy.

Women are twice as likely as men to have a lot of sympathy for the couple (16% versus 8%).

Watch: Starmer says Meghan's accusations of racism need to be heard

Read more: Royals 'had concerns about Archie's skin colour': 5 most explosive claims about Royal Family from Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview

More Britons had sympathy for the senior members of the Royal Family over the situation, with two-fifths (39%) saying it was other royals they felt for.

But 25% had not very much sympathy for the senior royals, and 20% had none at all for them.

The generational divide is noticeable when it comes to the sympathy for the senior royals, with 31% of over-65s saying their sympathy lies there, compared to 3% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Clips were being trailed more than a week before the interview was due to air, and even more were released after the show had played in full in the US.

A third of people had no sympathy at all with the royal couple. (YouGov)
A third of people had no sympathy at all with the couple. (YouGov)
More people had some level of sympathy for the senior royals. (YouGov)
More people had some level of sympathy for the senior royals. (YouGov)

Winfrey said she had more than three hours of material, which they had to cut down to fit the two-hour time slot, with commercial breaks.

Further YouGov polling will take place when the programme has been aired in the UK.

Among Meghan's biggest claims in the interview was that she'd been told of "conversations about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he was born" and "what that would mean and look like", as well as revealing she'd felt suicidal.

She said she was "not being protected", even saying the palace was "willing to lie to protect other members of the family".

Buckingham Palace has not yet responded to any of the claims.

Nearly half of respondents thought the interview was inappropriate. (YouGov)
Nearly half of respondents thought the interview was inappropriate. (YouGov)

Read more: Harry says Prince Charles stopped taking his calls before he stepped back as a senior royal

The interview has sparked very different reactions in the US and in the UK, with the couple receiving overwhelming support in the US, but more of a mixed bag in the UK.

In the US, journalist Saeed Ahmed, assistant managing editor at CNN Digital, tweeted that “two things stood out” from the interview.

He added: “Tyler Perry offered them security when the royal family wouldn’t. Oprah allowed them to tell their story when the royal family wouldn’t.

“A Black man gave them a home. A Black woman gave them a platform.”

In the UK, journalist Piers Morgan was unimpressed with Meghan’s interview, asking on Twitter: “Is it too late for Oscar nominations?”

He also tweeted: “This interview is an absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen and the royal family.

“I expect all this vile destructive self-serving nonsense from Meghan Markle – but for Harry to let her take down his family and the monarchy like this is shameful.”

Oprah With Meghan And Harry airs at 9pm on ITV on 8 March.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.