Royal family ‘less popular without Sussexes’ as Megxit still presents ‘problem’

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    The royal family are still facing a 'problem' after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from official duties with the couple having bolstered the Firm's popularity, according to an expert.

    In the five years from March 2018 to March 2023 the institution as a whole saw a small but significant drop in public opinion, according to market research firm Ipsos. In that time the Firm lost its figurehead of 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II, after she passed away aged 96 in September 2022.

    The royals also said goodbye to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in January 2020, which commentator Richard Fitzwilliams fears could be tied to the Firm's declining approval rating. He told the Daily Star: "The royal family is popular with support at around two thirds of the population… However it used to be over 70% before the Sussexes stepped down as senior working royals."

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    The commentator reckons Harry and Meghan are particularly popular among young people. Their Netflix series, Harry & Meghan, put them firmly in the limelight on a platform many youngsters are familiar with, while their philanthropic work may be admired by compassionate Gen Zs.

    "The problem [for the royal family] is a lack of support among the 18-24 age group," Fitzwilliams added.

    Reputation management boss Eric Schiffer agrees. "William and Kate have a good initial foundation to keep the royal family going, but it requires their focus on issues that matter to young people," he said. "The Sussex's information war weaponised against the royal family that appeared like Harry was out for William and the King's scalp brought incoming missiles and an impression with many young people that the fairy tale image was fake and inauthentic.

    "Gen Z and younger millennials hate inauthenticity."

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    Turning his attention to the future of the monarchy, Fitzwilliams said Prince William and Kate Middleton and their children are the "future of the monarchy", and offer a lot of hope. "William and Catherine are extremely popular," he said.

    'They and their children are the future of the monarchy. They handle their patronages and profile superbly. King Charles has had a good first year as monarch, is comfortable in the role and is a conscientious symbol of national unity."

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    • Royal Family
    • Prince Harry
    • Meghan Markle

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