William's Support Among Gen-Z Took Hit After Meghan, Harry Interview—Poll

Prince William's support among the U.K.'s generation Z—those aged 16 to 24—has taken a hit in the past year since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Oprah Winfrey interview, polling suggests.

He also fared badly among millennials—people from 25 to 40 years old—in the aftermath of Meghan and Harry's revelations.

The Duke of Cambridge is the most popular royal in Britain after Queen Elizabeth II, according to data from YouGov, but his strong overall performance hides a dent in his perception among young people.

A survey between March 16 and March 17 by the U.K. pollster shows 41 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds view him positively compared to 36 percent who see him negatively, a net approval of +5.

The figures are significantly worse than his standing across all age groups, which shows 77 percent in favor and 16 percent against, giving a net figure of +61.

An Ipsos Mori survey of a broader age group, from 16 to 34, offers him slightly better numbers of 51 percent positive and 18 percent negative, giving a net total of +33.

However, even that is a dip on where he stood before Harry and Meghan told Oprah Winfrey of their struggles with royal life in a March 7, 2021, CBS broadcast—the biggest royal interview since Princess Diana's 1995 bombshell tell-all in which she discussed Prince Charles' affair.

Research by YouGov between March 1 and March 2, 2021, showed 71 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds viewed William positively and 17 percent negatively, equalling a net favorability of +54.

YouGov's dip amongst 18-to-24-year-olds is first visible within days of the Oprah interview in data collected between March 10 and March 11, 2021.

That survey recorded 55 percent feeling positive towards William compared to 29 percent who felt negatively, adding up to +26 percent, a drop of 28 points within days.

However, the March 2022 figures represent the lowest account of his standing among millennials in YouGov's figures over the last year.

Reporting at the time of the interview focused on the fact the royals appeared to have improved in overall popularity in Britain across all age groups, despite the damaging allegations made—meaning little attention was paid to the change in attitude to William among the youngest age range.

Meghan and Harry accused an unnamed royal of expressing concern about how dark their unborn child's skin might be before birth.

The duchess also described feeling suicidal while she was a working royal and said she was blocked from seeking help at a psychiatric hospital.

Oprah asked Harry directly about his relationship with William but the younger brother swerved the opportunity to get into details about the rift between them, citing their shared experience of losing their mother.

Harry told CBS: "As I've said before, I love William to bits. He's my brother. We've been through hell together.

"I mean, we have a shared experience. But we're on different paths."

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Prince William was the only royal to comment on the interview in person when he told a Sky News journalist the royals were not racist.

The duke said on March 11: "We are very much not a racist family."

To whatever extent William may have taken a hit in the aftermath of the interview, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decline in U.K. popularity has been considerably more sharp.

They began to lose support among British people after quitting royal duties in January 2020 but plummeted further following Oprah.

YouGov's March poll had Prince Harry viewed positively by 34 percent and negatively by 59 percent across the age range, giving a net rating of -25.

Meghan was viewed positively by 26 percent and negatively by 65 percent across the age range, giving her a net rating of -39.

Prince Harry did, however, poll better than William among millennials with 49 percent positive and 34 percent negative, with a net figure of +15, compared to William's +5.

Meghan polled slightly less well among millennials than her brother-in-law with 43 percent positive and 41 negative, with a net figure of +2.

Harry, Meghan and Prince William
Prince William with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey on April 25, 2018. Prince William's standing among millennials has taken a hit since Harry and Meghan's Oprah Winfrey interview. Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images