Prince William and Kate joke with each other as they visit food bank
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A new picture of the Prince and Princess of Wales in Liverpool is evidence Prince Harry’s attacks on the Royal Family have failed to hurt the Firm’s reputation, according to a royal writer. Kate and William can be seen shaking hands and walking through the doors of the Royal Liverpool Hospital as part of their first public engagement since the release of Harry’s tell-all memoir. Despite Harry’s “never-ending” media blitz in the US, Daniel Elser says, the two working royals appear unbothered by the Duke’s bombshell revelations as they greet the “hundreds” of patients and staff who gathered to “catch a glimpse of the duo doing nothing more extraordinary than waving”.
The way the couple was treated and welcomed is proof Harry’s book has failed to have any impact on the Institution, Ms Elser argues.
Writing for news.com.au, the royal writer said: “If anyone in Team Wales had been worried about the sort of reception the couple might receive, then the jubilant scenes that greeted them should have cheered them up no end.
“At one point, 81-year-old Sylvia Staniford gripped the prince’s hand and told him: ‘Keep going, keep going. Scousers love you’. William’s response? A smile and ‘Yes, I will’.
“What the outing in Liverpool showed was that despite Spare’s best efforts to take the House of Windsor down a few pegs, the royal family has largely come through this storm on a relatively even keel.”
However, Ms Elser admitted it would be wrong to say Harry’s autobiography “hasn’t taken the sheen off”.
According to the latest YouGov surveys, 68 percent of people now have a positive view of Kate, down from 78 percent this time last year. Similarly, William is now viewed negatively by 21 percent of Brits, as opposed to the 9 percent recorded in September last year.
That drop means the net positive figures (the total positive minus the total negative) for both Waleses are at their lowest levels in the previous 12 years.
However, just like Charles’ reputation recovered from a slump after admitting to having cheated on his wife Diana, Princess of Wales, the royal writer suggested William and Kate’s approval ratings will “ultimately” rebound.
She wrote: “My point is, the history of the crown is a history of the (literally) ancient House weathering innumerable crises, controversies and the occasional family member going off to marry a dodgy German. Yet it has endured, with approval ratings ultimately rebounding.”
The Royal Family’s reputation at large has also taken a hit since September. According to the latest YouGov surveys, the proportion of British people who say they’re proud of the British monarchy has fallen from 55 percent in September to 43 percent.
Young people aged 18 to 24 are almost three times as likely as those aged 65 and over to think negatively of the royals, by 58 percent to 21 percent. One in five Britons is now embarrassed by the monarchy, up from 15 percent in September.
However, a report by Prof John Curtice on the future of the Royal Family, found that despite small ups and downs, support for the monarchy has remained remarkably constant over the last 30 years and has always recovered – even after the late Queen’s ‘annus horribilis’.
Looking ahead, Prof Curtice added: “Meanwhile, until now people’s views will have been influenced by their perceptions of the late Queen herself. Future public support for the monarchy may well rest heavily on King Charles’s ability to prove a worthy successor.”
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Prof Billig, the author of ‘Talking of the Royal Family’ which tackles the challenges facing the monarchy, said the “primary” cause for dwindling royal support is the Queen’s death in early September and King Charles who “cannot emulate his mother as a symbol of stability”.
Earlier this month, he told Express.co.uk: “But perhaps he might be better advised to seek to change the image of the monarchy and to attempt to represent refreshing change, rather as Edward VII did following the long reign of Victoria.
“But the new King may have difficulties in representing change. He has not been welcomed with a burst of optimism as Edward was. Young people are likely to see him as another old person with a rather grey personality.”
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