Meghan Markle interview ‘chink in armour’ for Queen says expert
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The claims made by Meghan and Prince Harry during their two-hour-long interview with Oprah Winfrey have sent shockwaves across Britain. However, one expert does not believe they have the strength to bring down the monarchy, with the Royal Family remaining very much beloved across the UK.
Robert Hazell, a constitutional scholar at University College London and the co-editor of The Role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy, conceded it was possible for people to opt for republicanism in the future.
However, for the time being, the institution of monarchy appears as safe as ever.
Asked whether Megxit and the fallout of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could represent an existential threat to the monarchy, Professor Hazell told Vanity Fair: “No, nowhere near.
“The Royal Family are so popular, and that’s very different from a real threat to the monarchy as an institution.
“If by ‘a threat to the monarchy’ people mean that the UK might want to give up the monarchy, which is democratically perfectly possible and conceivable, because monarchy is not a given, and it does rest on the continuing consent of the people.
“But the British monarchy, like the other monarchies of Europe, is extraordinarily popular.
“There’s been endless polling about this for decades and decades, and it’s one of the stablest polling results you can find.”
A snap poll by YouGov carried out between March 10 and 11 showed it had been Prince Harry and Meghan who had been hurt the hardest in the UK by their bombshell interview.
The popularity of the Sussexes among the 1,664 British adults surveyed had significantly plummeted when compared to a similar analysis carried out approximately 10 days before.
According to the YouGov’s recent analysis, less than half of the Britons surveyed (45 percent) had a positive opinion of Prince Harry.
Those who regarded him negatively were 48 percent, resulting in a net favourability score of -3.
This marked a major drop of 15 points since YouGov’s last favourability poll carried out between March 1 and 2.
Meghan’s popularity was hit by an even bigger slump, with 58 percent, or six in 10, saying they had a negative view of her after the Oprah interview.
On the other hand, 31 percent of those polled, three in 10 people, said they a had positive opinion of her.
Her net favourability score fell at -27, down from the previously reported -14.
Other senior royals continued to enjoy a high level of favourability among Britons, the poll showed, with the exception of Prince Charles.
42 percent of Britons had between March 10 and 11 a negative opinion of Prince Charles – up from 36 percent recorded in early March.
Meanwhile, the number of people who viewed him favourably dropped from 57 percent to 49 percent.
While it doesn’t appear to have damaged the popularity of most senior royals among Britons, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview gave new life to republican groups across the Queen’s 15 other realms.
Australia’s former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was time for the country to consider a change in their relationship with the Crown.
And a new poll of 1,512 adult Canadians carried out between March 12 to 14 by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found just over half of Canadians believe the British monarchy is a relic that Canada should abandon.
In the UK the republican boost in the wake of the Oprah interview appears to have been much weaker, with a poll by Survation of 1,037 Britons showing only 34 percent of those surveyed wanted the UK to become a republic with an elected head of state.
66 percent of the surveyed stood by the constitutional monarchy led by the Queen and the Royal Family.
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