Britain divided on how royal family treated Harry and Meghan

Britain stands by the Queen: 36% of Britons have sympathy for Her Majesty in wake of Harry and Meghan interview compared to 22% for couple, YouGov poll reveals

  • Public is split on whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were treated fairly 
  • A snap YouGov poll has found 32% of people believed they were treated unfairly 
  • Most of the public’s sympathy lies with the Queen and royal family, survey shows

More Britons have sympathy for the Queen than for Meghan and Harry in the wake of their explosive Oprah interview, a survey revealed today.  

A snap YouGov poll that most of the public’s sympathy lies with the Queen and the royal family following the two-hour interview. 

But the British public is split on whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were treated fairly by the royal family.

Some 32 per cent believed they were treated unfairly, while an equal proportion – 32 per cent – did not, and 36 per cent did not know.

The Firm is facing accusations of racism and of failing to support Meghan during her mental health crisis.

The British public is split on whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were treated fairly by the royal family in the wake of their explosive interview 

In the wake of the couple’s explosive Oprah Winfrey interview, most of the public’s sympathy lies with the Queen and the royal family, the survey found

A snap YouGov poll found 32 per cent believed they were treated unfairly, while an equal proportion – 32 per cent – did not, and 36 per cent did not know

More than a third (36 per cent) of those questioned said their sympathies were mostly with the monarch and the rest of the Windsors, while 22 per cent sided with Harry and Meghan, 28 per cent said neither, and 8 per cent said both.

Some 48 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds side with Harry and Meghan, but 55 per cent of over-65s support the Queen.

Age groups also differ greatly on the fairness issue.

Half (50 per cent) of over-65s think the couple were treated fairly by the royals, but 61% of 18-to-24-year-olds think they were treated unfairly.

More than a third (36 per cent) of those questioned said their sympathies were mostly with the monarch

Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey that she entered the Royal Family ‘naively’ and didn’t do any research about her husband or the institution

When asked if they had any sympathy for the couple, 33 per cent said they had ‘none at all’ and 23 per cent said ‘not very much’

Asked whether being a member of the royal family was more of a privilege or a burden, 38 per cent said both equally, 28 per cent said privilege and 23 per cent said burden.

A total of 4,656 British adults were surveyed between March 8 and 9. All respondents were questioned after the interview finished airing.

The YouGov survey also found that 47 per cent felt the interview was ‘inappropriate’ compared to 21 per cent who said the broadcast was ‘appropriate’. 

The poll results come after Harry and Meghan said racism drove them out of Britain and claimed their son Archie was denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race in their two-hour CBS interview with Oprah.

In the tell-all, Meghan claimed she entered the Royal Family ‘naively’ and didn’t do any research about her husband or the institution and Prince Harry accused his father Prince Charles of refusing to take his calls when they emigrated to the US last year.  

More than a million viewers turned off Harry and Meghan interview: ITV’s ‘£1m’ Oprah chat peaked at 12.4m out of an average 11.1m audience during two-hour bombshell broadcast in UK 

Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drew more than 11 million viewers last night. 

The broadcast at 9pm on ITV attracted a total audience of 11.4 million – 54.4 per cent of all television viewers in the UK. 

Some 12.4 million people were watching the interview at its peak, and the two-hour interview had an average of 11.1 million viewers during the 9pm-11pm slot.

And 2.2 million viewers streamed the programme live on the ITV Hub.   

The couple’s wedding in May 2018 drew in a peak audience of 27.7 million in the UK. 

A staggering 12.3 million people were watching the interview at its peak last night 

The wide-ranging two-hour special covered Meghan’s thoughts of suicide during her first pregnancy and claims of racism within the royal family 

Harry and Meghan: How the viewing figures compare 

2021: Harry and Meghan with Oprah Winfrey, March 8 (ITV) 11.4 million

2020: Boris Johnson lockdown announcement, March 23 (BBC One) 14.6 million 

Queen’s address to the nation, April 5 (BBC One) 14 million  

Boris Johnson’s second address to the nation, May 10 (BBC One) 18.8 million

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, December 4 (ITV) 12.1 million

2019: Gavin And Stacey Christmas special (BBC One) 17.1 million viewers

2012: Closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games (BBC One) 24.5 million

2010: The X Factor (ITV) 17.7 million 

1995: Princess Diana interview with Martin Bashir (BBC One) 23 million

1966: The 1966 World Cup final (BBC and ITV joint broadcast) 32.3 million viewers

Advertising revenue during the 110-minute programme could double the £1million ITV paid for it. 

ITV is thought to have sold some 30-second slots for as much as £120,000, double its usual rate, with others going for £70,000 to £100,000. 

In the US, the interview pulled in 17.1 million viewers, and scored a rating of 2.6 among the 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. 

It is not yet known how many people have watched the interview since it aired. 

The tell-all has become the biggest TV show of the year so far, beating Boris Johnson’s statement to the nation on January 4 which had 15.6million viewers.

ITV’s most watched programme of 2020 was the final of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, with 12.1 million viewers watching Giovanna Fletcher as she was crowned series champion. This figure includes seven day catch up and non-TV devices.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Day address, broadcast on BBC One and ITV at 5pm on Sunday, attracted an audience of some 2.2 million with 2.7 million at its peak and a 14.4 per cent share.  

When Princess Diana was quizzed by Martin Bashir for the BBC’s Panorama programme in 1995, almost 23 million tuned in. 

Data released this morning has revealed the interview also attracted a much younger profile than normal, with a 72 per cent share for adults aged 25-34.

This compare to the average 16.2 per cent of adults aged 25-34 who usually tune in at the same time. 

Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement on March 23 last year drew more than 14 million viewers.  

The Prime Minister’s speech was simultaneously broadcast across six television channels: BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky News and BBC News.

On BBC One, the speech attracted 14.6 million viewers, but combined with the ratings across all six channels, the speech had a total TV audience averaging 28.2 million.

The Queen’s televised address to the nation on April 5, during which she echoed Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime song and told the nation ‘we will meet again’, had a combined TV audience across seven channels of 24.3 million. 

Mr Johnson’s second TV address delivered on May 10, during which he announced an initial easing of the lockdown in England, pulled in a combined audience of 27.6 million.

A massive 18.8 million TV viewers saw this second speech on BBC One alone.  

The couple’s wedding in May 2018 drew in a peak audience of 27.7 million in the UK.

ITV’s most watched programme of 2020 was the final of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, with 12.1 million viewers watching Giovanna Fletcher as she was crowned series champion

Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement on March 23 last year drew more than 14 million viewers

The Queen’s televised address to the nation on April 5, during which she echoed Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime song and told the nation ‘we will meet again’, had a combined TV audience across seven channels of 24.3 million

The Gavin And Stacey Christmas special – the most-watched programme of 2019 – pulled in a TV audience of 17.1 million viewers. 

The biggest audience in the past decade for any broadcast on a single channel was 24.5 million, which was the number who watched the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

But excluding news and sport events, the biggest TV audience of the past decade was 17.7 million, set by an edition of The X Factor back in December 2010.

Figures quoted here are consolidated ratings, meaning they include people who recorded and watched a broadcast up to seven days later – the industry standard for measuring TV audiences.

The 1966 World Cup final is often cited as the most-watched broadcast in British history, with 32.3 million viewers, just ahead of Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, but the method of calculating ratings has changed several times, meaning it is difficult to make like-for-like comparisons.

A family gather around the TV in Liverpool to watch Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s explosive interview on ITV

The current record for audience figures in the US is 90million – set when Oprah sat down with Michael Jackson in 1993.

It became the second most watched non-sports entertainment program in the US so far this year, behind the February premiere of Queen Latifah’s new drama, The Equalizer, which aired after the Super Bowl and pulled 20.4 million viewers.  

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