Prince Harry's popularity at new low after memoir published, poll suggests
King Charles, Prince William make 1st appearances since controversial book released
King Charles and Prince William made their first public appearances on Thursday since the release of Prince Harry's tell-all memoir — which is racking up sales but apparently hurting his once-strong popularity.
Charles chatted with well-wishers but made no immediate comment about the recent furor over the book when he arrived for a visit to the Aboyne Community Shed in a village in Scotland to meet representatives involved with local support groups.
The low-key trip, the monarch's first public event of the year, was in stark contrast to the recent high-profile coverage of his younger son's memoir, which came a month after the release of a six-part Netflix documentary series about Harry and his wife, Meghan.
Also on Thursday, a smiling and happy-looking William and his wife, Catherine, who Harry also criticizes in his book, made their first appearances since the memoir's release on Tuesday, to a hospital in northern England. They, too, made no public reference to the saga.
So far, neither Buckingham Palace nor aides for any of the royals have commented on Harry's disclosures.
In the book Spare and TV interviews leading up to its official release, Harry makes a number of accusations against his father, older brother and other royals.
Harry divulges that he had begged his father not to marry his second wife, Camilla, now the Queen Consort. The book also delivered numerous other revelations, including that elder brother and heir to the throne William had knocked him over during a heated argument.
Harry also used promotional interviews to double down on his claims that some royals, including Camilla and William, and their aides had leaked damaging stories to tabloid papers about him or Meghan in order to protect themselves or enhance their reputations.
Book popular, but Harry isn't
There is no doubting the huge global interest in Harry and what he has to say about his fellow British royals.
Publisher Penguin Random House says the memoir had secured the largest first-day sales total for any non-fiction book it had ever published with more than 1.4 million copies sold in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
It says more books are being printed to meet demand, with the level of interest coming after Meghan and Harry's Netflix documentary had also attracted record viewers.
However, according to a YouGov poll conducted after the book was published, the fascination is not reflected in popularity, with Harry's once high favourability score among Britons slumping to a record low.
Just 24 per cent had a favourable opinion compared to 68 per cent with a negative view, according to the survey of 1,691 British adults, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Among those aged over 65, he and Meghan were even less popular than his uncle, Prince Andrew, who has been banished from public life over his friendship with late convicted U.S. sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and a related sexual assault allegation that led to him settling a U.S. lawsuit.
YouGov is an international market research and data analytics firm based in Britain and conducts its public opinion polls online.
The royal melodrama does not appear to have seriously damaged the popularity of Charles or William though, although the regular poll indicated that the heir's standing, and that of his wife, appears to be on a downward trend.
The monarchy itself has also taken a slight hit, with a rise in the number of people embarrassed by it, although the vast majority remained supporters, the survey showed.
British newspapers have reported that in the wake of his revelations Harry would not be welcome to attend his father's coronation in May.
"I'm not going to lie — the last few days have been hurtful and challenging," Harry said as he sat down for a chat with TV talk show host Stephen Colbert for an interview that aired on Tuesday night.
With files from CBC News
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