Exclusive Poll: Majority of British People Say Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Should Not Return to Royal Duties

A majority of Britons do not want Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to return to royal duties because of their response to the novel coronavirus, exclusive Newsweek polling revealed.

More people said their impressions of both the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex had worsened because of the pandemic. And 54 percent said they should not return to royal duties, while 28 percent said they should and 18 percent said they did not know.

The polling comes at a time when other royals had been visibly working to respond to the pandemic, performing their roles through streaming videos. The survey was conducted on Wednesday by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, before the first stories detailing Prince Harry and Meghan's post-coronavirus charity work emerged the same day.

The poll of 1,500 adults was conducted online for Newsweek, with a 2.53 percent margin of error.

The couple relocated to Los Angeles from Canada at the end of March to begin a new life outside the royal family.

However, the first 12 months of their new arrangement will be a review period, meaning if things do not work out they could return to their royal status in 2021.

Newsweek asked 1,500 Britons how the coronavirus response had changed their view of different members of the royal family.

Asked about Meghan, 36 percent said they had a more negative view of the duchess following the outbreak with 20 percent saying their view became more positive. For Harry, 33 percent said they had a worse view of him compared to 19 percent whose opinion improved.

Respondents aged 18 to 34 said their opinion of the duke and duchess had improved, but the figures showed less support than for the other royals.

Queen Elizabeth II saw 35 percent of respondent say their impression of her had improved compared to 14 percent who said it worsened.

Meghan and Harry
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 5, 2020 in London, England. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Prince William was viewed more positively by 33 percent and less positive by 11 percent, while Kate Middleton was seen more favorably by 29 percent and less by 14 percent. Prince Charles saw his standing improve with 24 percent and get worse among 16 percent of those surveyed.

Prince Harry had a video call organized by WellChild, where he is a patron, with parents who have been struggling to get there seriously ill children put on the coronavirus vulnerable list.

The prince told two parents: "This is hard on everyone but it is especially hard on you."

And it emerged they have been handing out meals to the critically ill helped by non-profit Project Angel Food.

Richard Ayoub, the charity's executive director, said in a statement: "In honor of the Easter holiday, the Duke and Duchess spent Sunday morning volunteering with project angel food by delivering meals to our clients.

"And on Wednesday they quietly continued delivering meals to relieve our overworked drivers. It was their way to thank our volunteers, chefs and staff who have been working tirelessly since the COVID-19 crisis begin."