Meghan Markle and Prince Harry deemed ‘negative influences’ by a third of British adults

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MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry ranked lower than Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William in a survey analysing Britons’ feeling when it came to public figures.

Only 34 percent of British people believe Meghan and Harry have a positive influence on the UK, according to a major study. And 25 percent of those surveyed think they are a negative influence, with 42 percent saying they have neutral feelings towards the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

The study, by WPP media agency Mindshare UK, places Meghan and Harry way behind the Queen, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William.

These senior royals are all seen in a positive light by the majority of those polled.

As many as 52 percent of the people polled believe the Queen has a positive impact on the UK.

And 51 percent said Kate and William cast a positive influence on the country. 

On the other hand, only 10 percent think either the Queen or William and Kate are a negative influence.

Mindshare’s Power to the People research was run in October 2019 among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults.

Results from this quantitative study were combined with a qualitative stage of mobile ethnography involving 40 respondents selected from across the UK and extensive social insights analysis. 

The survey analysed several public figures and their impact on the country, and showed a widespread belief the UK is living a time of poor political leadership.

Julia Ayling, Head of Research and Insights at Mindshare commented: “Mindshare’s Power to the People study has revealed a country crying out for positive leadership.

“The people are looking for organisations and figures they can respect and who can lead us in the right direction.

“These findings suggest that politicians and political institutions will need to work hard over the coming years to win back the public’s trust.

“In the meantime, we may look to other leaders and organisations to play a positive role.”

Just 14 percent of the Britons surveyed believe Parliament is a positive influence in the UK’s day-to-day life.

As many as 52 percent is convinced MPs’ impact on them is negative.

Likewise, the Government is seen as a negative influence by half of the study sample. 

On the other hand, the courts and legal system prompted a more balanced response from those who took part in the study, with 33 percent seeing them as a positive force rather than a negative one, as said by 29 percent of those surveyed.

This analysis has been published just a few days after another poll found that Kate and William are overwhelmingly more appreciated by Britons than Meghan and Harry. 

According to that poll, ran by Public First, only 41 percent of the surveyed are generally in favour of the Duchess of Sussex, who joined the Royal Family in May last year.

But 67 percent of those polled have a positive view of Kate, whose rating is only just short of the Queen’s 73 percent.

Gabriel Milland, a partner with business consultants Public First, who commissioned the survey which analysed 2,016 British adults, said: “This poll is fascinating.

“It shows that Meghan is really dividing public opinion.” 

The survey revealed that views on the royals vary with the age of those polled.

Older interviewees tend to favour the Cambridges over the Sussexes, according to the poll.

Just 28 percent of those in the 55-64 year-old bracket have positive opinions about Meghan, while 42 percent hold negative ones.

By contrast, 66 percent of those aged between 18 to 24 generally favour her, and only 13 percent have a negative view of her.     

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