Thursday, 2 Feb 2023

Harry and Meghan’s four-book deal shows ‘trashing’ royals profitable

Prince Harry has ‘thrown his family to the lions’ says Angela Levin

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The overnight success of Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, is only the beginning of the Duke and Duchesses’ lucrative attack on the Royal Family, claims Washington-based royal commentator Nile Gardiner. “Trashing the Royal Family is big business for Harry and Meghan,” the royal enthusiast wrote on Twitter. He was referring to reports that Harry and Meghan have signed a four-book deal with publishing giant Penguin Random House for an advanced fee of $20million.

But that sum now looks modest in light of the success of Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, which sold a record 1.4 million copies on its day of release.

Success has not come without controversy. The tell-all memoir is packed with revelations about the Royal Family.

Harry has sparked criticism for his unsparing insights, such as his physical altercation with Prince William and the critical portrayal of his stepmother Camilla, Queen of Consort.

Polls suggest this has caused Harry and Meghan’s popularity to plummet.

The drop has been particularly vertiginous in the US, where the couple have historically enjoyed a higher favourability rating than in the UK.

Prior to publication, Harry had a favourability rating of +38, according to a December 5 poll of 2,000 US voters for Newsweek.

As of January 16, this had plunged to -7.

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His wife has also taken a hit following the release of Spare, the poll suggested.

Meghan now has an approval rating of -13, compared to +23 on December 5.

The poll also found women were slightly less likely to like Meghan than men.

Asked about whether Harry was right to reveal intimate conversations with his family members in the memoir, 44 percent said he was wrong, with 26 percent saying he was right.

Harry is faring even worse in UK polls. A YouGov survey conducted on 5-6 January shows that just 26 percent of Britons have a positive view of Prince Harry, the lowest level since it started tracking in 2011.

This represents a seven point drop since the previous survey in early December.

Currently, two thirds of Britons (64 percent) have a negative view of the fifth in line to the throne, up from 59 percent.

Even younger Britons, who generally tended to hold favourable views of Harry, are now divided, with 41 percent having a positive impression and 41 percent a negative one.

In December’s survey there had been a twenty-point lead, with 49 percent holding a positive view and 29 percent a negative one.

Attitudes towards King Charles, Kate Middleton and Meghan remain unchanged since the December survey, but there has been a drop in Prince William’s popularity.

The number of people with a positive view of the new Prince of Wales has fallen eight points from 77 percent in December to 69 percent as of January 5-6.

At the same time the number with a negative view rose from 15 percent to 20 percent.

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