Young people are more likely to see Prince Harry as a good role model for them than Prince William
Princes William and Harry have taken very different approaches to royal life. While Prince Harry has stepped back from virtually all royal duties and moved to the United States, William remains a frontline member of the royal household. The results of a new YouGov survey suggest that their diverging choices have prompted very different attitudes towards them from the British public.
Seven in ten Britons (72%) say they think future king Prince William is a good role model for the young, compared to only 6% who think he is not. Yet, when it comes to his brother, people are split. Three in ten (31%) think Prince Harry is a good role model, while 36% think he is a bad one, and 25% say neither.
These new figures represent a stark change for the Duke of Sussex from the time of the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Ten years ago, only one in ten people saw the younger Windsor brother as a bad role model (10%), while the proportion who think him a good role model has halved (from 63% to 31%).
Across the same period, those seeing William as a good role model has fallen as well, but only by 8 points from 80% to 72%, while the proportion who think he is a poor role model remains roughly the same (4% in 2012).
Young people themselves, however, disagree with the wider public. Not only do they actually tend to see Prince Harry as a good role model for the young, but they are more likely to have a favourable view of him than they are Prince William. By 43% to 12%, 18–24-year-old Britons say Prince Harry is a good rather than bad role model for the young, compared to 37% vs 25% respectively for Prince William.
Belief that Prince Harry is a good role model diminishes with age. Among the eldest Britons – those aged 65 and above – just 16% see Harry as a figure young people should look up to. Prince William is consistently very popular across the older age groups, with 83% of those aged 65+ considering him a good role model.