- d heir of Charles III of the United Kingdom
Almost half of the public think the Duke of Sussex should be stripped of his royal title following the release of his and his wife’s Netflix documentary, a poll has found.
In a survey by YouGov, 44 per cent of respondents said Prince Harry should have his title removed, compared with 32 per cent who thought he should be allowed to retain it.
In an indication that the six-part Netflix series, Harry & Meghan, has backfired on the couple with its accusations against the rest of the Royal family, the public appears to have more sympathy for the Prince and Princess of Wales.
A total of 44 per cent in the YouGov poll for The Times said they were more sympathetic towards William and Catherine, compared with just 17 per cent for Prince Harry and Meghan.
At the same time, 23 per cent said the six-hour documentary, released earlier this month, made them think worse of Harry and Meghan, while just 7 per cent said it made them think better of the couple.
The majority (65 per cent) of those questioned by YouGov said that Harry and Meghan, who now live in the Californian town of Montecito, had chosen to leave the Royal family. Only 11 per cent said they had been forced out.
In a further blow to the Duke and Duchess, 53 per cent of respondents said they did not deserve an apology from the Royal family for their treatment, and only 19 per cent thought they did.
Tom Quinn, the author of Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle, said: “I’m not at all surprised that people have more sympathy for the Prince and Princess of Wales because they are doing the classic thing of being stoical. They are not complaining about Harry.
“I think it is unlikely that the King will strip the Duke of Sussex of his title because then it looks like he and Prince William are doing the kind of things Harry and Meghan do.
“Their modus operandi is to be quiet and calm and not lash out.”
Mr Quinn added: “I’m only surprised that the documentary didn’t do more damage to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I found it painful to watch – it made you realise they are lost souls. It is extraordinary that they feel this will somehow improve things for them.”
Just under half (49 per cent) said they did not think the Royal family was a racist institution, while 26 per cent did.
That came despite the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, in which they said someone, who they declined to name, had made a remark about the likely colour of their son Archie.
In December this year Lady Susan Hussey, the late Queen’s lady-in-waiting, apologised and resigned after she repeatedly asked a black British charity boss at a palace function where she was “really” from.
Fifty-one per cent said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should not have security provided by the British government, against 32 per cent who said they should.
Prince Harry is embroiled in two separate legal challenges over the Home Office’s decision to withdraw guaranteed police protection when his family is in the UK.
However, in a measure of comfort for the couple, 51 per cent of those polled by YouGov still think the couple should be invited to the coronation next year, while 31 per cent disagreed.
A representative for the Duke and Duchess was contacted for comment.