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A majority say it was a bad idea for the Sussexes to release their Netflix documentary

Chris Hopkins Political Research Director 15/12/2022

• Six in ten (59%) say it was a bad idea for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to release their Netflix documentary; a third (33%) say it was a good idea
• Half (50%) do not trust Netflix to deliver an accurate account of Prince Harry and Meghan's experience in the Royal Family; 35% do trust Netflix
• Royals Net Favourability: Prince William +60; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge +53; King Charles III +36; Prince Harry -3; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex -19
• Over half (55%) say they would prefer Britain having a monarchy; 31% say they would prefer an elected head of state

Six in ten (59%) say it was a bad idea for Prince Harry and Meghan to release a documentary series on themselves, according to polling from Savanta.

The polling, released to coincide with the release of the second part of the documentary series (Thursday 15 December), shows half (50%) of UK adults do not trust the streaming giant to deliver an accurate account of the Sussexes experience inside the Royal Family, compared to a third (35%) who do.

The first part of the documentary series was released last week, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claiming press intrusion to be a primary reason for their departure from ‘the firm’. Six in ten (57%) say the press is too intrusive to the lives of the Royal family, although a third (31%) say it is not.

The trailer for the second half includes a claim by Prince Harry that the Royal family lied to protect Prince William, while the truth about Prince Harry and Meghan was not shared. Despite this claim, Prince William has the highest favourability of all members of the Royal Family, with seven in ten (70%) viewing him favourably and only one in ten (10%) unfavourably.

However, Meghan has the lowest favourability of the Royals tested, except Prince Andrew. Half (48%) say they view her unfavourably, compared to the three in ten (29%) who view her favourably.

On the monarchy in general, just over half (55%) of UK adults say they would prefer Britain to have a monarchy, while three in ten (31%) say they would prefer an elected head of state. These figures are virtually unchanged from when they were last asked in a Savanta poll in May (57% for Monarchy, 29% for elected head of state), suggesting that the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has not had any major impact on attitudes towards the monarchy as an institution.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta says,

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex releasing a docuseries last week sent shock waves through the British media, with the BBC even live blogging their reaction. Although the series has garnered a massive amount of attention, it appears the public are not convinced the Sussexes version of events portrayed by Netflix will be accurate.”

“Despite their best efforts, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are viewed as two of the most unfavourable members of the Royal Family. The series is an effort by them to show that this view held by the public is due to media attacks, perhaps even directed by the Palace. Time will tell who will get more public support, but it’s doesn’t appear from this polling that it will give the Sussexes the result they were hoping for.”

Methodology: Savanta interviewed 2,134 UK adults aged 18+ online on 09–11 December 2022. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults by age, sex, region and SEG. Savanta is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Full tables available here

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