King Charles’ U.K. Popularity Unaffected by Prince Harry, Meghan Eviction

King Charles III remains more popular as a monarch than he was in the years leading up to Queen Elizabeth II’s death—even after evicting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, according to recent polling.

The king was liked by 55 percent of respondents and disliked by 17 percent in the first three months of 2023, according to rolling quarterly research among adults in the United Kingdom by YouGov.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, Charles was liked by 56 percent of respondents after a bounce in his popularity following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. He was liked by 42 percent of respondents in the second quarter and 44 percent in the third quarter of 2022, prior to becoming king.

The palace will likely be reassured that he appears to have held onto positive sentiment even as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle turned their guns on the royals in their Netflix docuseries and the duke’s book Spare.

King Charles III and Prince Harry attend the “Our Planet” global premiere at the Natural History Museum in London, on April 4, 2019. The king appears to have held onto his popularity since succession.
Samir Hussein/WireImage

And he appears not to have been hit too hard by the decision to ask Harry and Meghan to vacate their U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage. The request was reportedly made in January but was only publicly confirmed in early March by a spokesperson for the Sussexes.

The figures place him on a firm footing going into his coronation on May 6, when there will be protests by the anti-monarchy campaigners, Republic. The group has long been preparing for succession and has staged multiple protests against the royals since Charles became king.

He is also yet to discover whether Harry and Meghan will attend the coronation, despite having invited them via an email from his office.

Harry’s portrait of his father in Spare was mixed, with some passages painting him as a loving father while also revealing that he did not hug him after his mother, Princess Diana died.

“Pa didn’t hug me,” Harry wrote. He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis? But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said: It’s going to be OK. That was quite a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful, kind. And so very untrue.”

Another section read: “Not that Pa hadn’t always been a bit checked out. He’d always given an air of being not quite ready for parenthood—the responsibilities, the patience, the time. Even he, though a proud man, would’ve admitted as much. But single parenthood? Pa was never made for that.

“To be fair, he tried. Evenings, I’d shout downstairs: Going to bed, Pa! He’d always shout back cheerfully: I’ll be there shortly, darling boy! True to his word, minutes later he’d be sitting on the edge of my bed. He never forgot that I didn’t like the dark, so he’d gently tickle my face until I fell asleep.”

Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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