Royals unharmed by Meghan and Harry’s interview as only ‘young celebrity admirers’ care


THE ROYAL FAMILY will not suffer from an overall decline in popularity in the aftermath of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, according to a royal commentator, as only “young celebrity admirers” will care about it.

Meghan and Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah is set to air this Sunday in the US, and royal watchers are on tenterhooks. From the teasers released ahead of the programme, it seems the Sussexes are set to reveal what they really thought of their time behind Palace walls and explain why they decided to leave last year. From the sneak previews, Meghan has already said the Firm should not be surprised that she is speaking out, after it was “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and Harry.

The Palace is said to be nervously awaiting the sensational broadcast, with some sources warning royal aides to “hide behind the sofa”.

However, royal commentator Howard Hodgson told the Royal Family’s reputation will not be tarnished too much by the confessional interview.

He said: “No, I don’t think the Royal Family will suffer in this country — except in the eyes of the young celebrity admirers.”

Meghan and Harry confirmed last month they would not be returning to the royal frontline, which means many have now categorised the pair as A-listers rather than the Queen’s representatives.

As Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer reported: “Interesting that the UK’s national news agency, the Press Association, is now treating stories about interviews with Harry and Meghan as showbiz rather than royal.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (Image: Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah (Image: CBS)

“US media organisations often bracket royal stories as entertainment but that hasn’t been the case here until now.”

However, it’s worth pointing out the Royal Family did see a significant decline in popularity in the Nineties, after Princess Diana drew back the curtain on what her life behind Palace walls was really like during her BBC Panorama interview in 1995.

Just before her death in August 1997, support for the monarchy dropped below 50 percent for the first time according to polls.

By 2000, only 44 percent of the public thought the UK would be worse off without the Royal Family, according to an opinion poll from the Guardian and ICM.

In comparison, during the early Nineties, repeating ICM polls showed more than 70 percent thought the UK would be worse off without the Royal Family.

Meghan and Harry were described as an

Meghan and Harry were described as an “asset” to the Royal Family (Image: Getty)

Meghan and Harry speaking on Teenager podcast

Meghan and Harry speaking on Teenager therapy podcast (Image: Instagram @teenagertherapy)

While the Royal Family’s popularity soared following Prince William’s wedding to Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and the Sussexes’ nuptials seven years later, some predict the new Oprah Winfrey interview will cause public opinion to fall.

A recent YouGov poll from this week shows 38 percent of Britons support the Queen and the Royal Family in the dispute, with 18 percent backing the Sussexes.

Out of the Sussex supporters, 40 percent were aged between 18 and 24.

A further 30 percent support neither side, in the poll conducted from 4,600 adults.

Managing partner of creative agency Isobel, Jamie Williams, claimed this week: “Meghan and Harry had the potential to become Britain’s greatest branded asset as the decade unfolded, and for whatever reason, we, or they, or perhaps all of us, have screwed it up. Royally.”

He noted Britain is “a brand” and its greatest asset is arguably the Royal Family

The Royal Family's popularity may not be affected by the interview, according to a commentator

The Royal Family’s popularity may not be affected by the interview, according to a commentator (Image: Getty)

He explained: “It’s a clear USP [unique selling point] for Britain that continues to fascinate the world and attract their attention.”

He claimed the monarchy “needs to continue developing its own image to further serve the wider brand of modern Britain”.

Mr Williams continued: “Harry has always felt like the wild card, and in marrying Meghan Markle, he introduced a genuine star into the mix.”

He claimed the Sussexes had the ability to transform the Royal Family’s brand for the modern era, as an interracial and intercultural couple.

Writing in The Independent, Mr Williams concluded: “Oprah’s gain is absolutely Brand Britain’s loss.”

Meghan and Harry confirmed they were not returning to royal life last month

Meghan and Harry confirmed they were not returning to royal life last month (Image: Getty)

Now the couple have relocated to the US, their focus appears to be on appealing to the American audience.

As Richard Fitzwilliams told “The emphasis on their lives, in their work, is the United States, it’s obvious.”

The couple signed a lucrative contract with US streaming giant Netflix last year.

Their decision to air their first post-royal interview with American talk show icon, Oprah, is also perceived as a sign they are now focusing on the States.


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