Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been voted as the "most respected royals" after Queen Elizabeth II in a new survey, despite reports that their recent statements against the British monarchy caused a dip in their popularity in the United Kingdom.
The Duke and the Duchess of Sussex came in at second and third place respectively, in a survey of the most respected royals conducted by youth mental health charity Stem4, overtaking Prince William, Kate Middleton, and other senior members of the royal family. The survey asked 1,032 people aged between 13 and 25 in the UK, about who they thought was the most popular public figure in different categories, reports Yahoo News.
The 95-year-old Queen won the top spot with 25 percent of the vote in the "most respected" category, followed by her grandson Harry with 22 percent and his wife Meghan with 21 percent. The royals were followed by Bill Gates with 17% of the votes, Dr. Alex George with 16%, and Boris Johnson with 14%. The next royal in the list was Kate Middleton with 11 percent of the votes and her husband Prince William with 10 percent.
While the Queen was voted most popular in her category, Sir David Attenborough was ranked most popular in the inspiring figure category with 54 percent of the votes, the highest in the survey.
Stem4 said the most common reasons the youth admired these public figures were that "they are brave and resilient, and even when things go wrong and they are criticised, they carry on" and "they stand up for people's rights and make society a better place."
Dr. Nihara Krause, founder and chief executive at Stem4, said about the survey: "To earn the respect of young people today you don't need to earn a fortune or have good looks. It's far more important that you show bravery, resilience, and compassion for others and for nature."
"Those are certainly qualities the Queen shares with some of the other names on this list such as David Attenborough and Marcus Rashford," Krause added.
She further applauded Prince Harry for breaking the stigma around mental health by opening up about his own struggles in his Apple TV+ series "The Me You Can't See." Krause said: "It's also significant that many of the most admired famous people are those, like Billie Eilish and Prince Harry, who have been open about their own mental health challenges. Problems like anxiety, depression and self-harm are sadly very common among young people and it makes a huge difference to them when public figures have the courage to open up."
Harry's mother Princess Diana also found a mention in the survey in the public figures category, while Meghan and Harry's friend and interviewer Oprah Winfrey was praised in the "inspirational figures" category.