After two years of public scrutiny, the media storm surrounding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry only magnified when the couple announced they would be relinquishing their official royal duties earlier this year.
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
While Meghan and Prince Harry are not the first to break royal tradition, the action is quite uncommon. We decided to use Celebrity DBI data to gauge how stepping down from their positions may have impacted their likeability.
When Meghan Markle was first tested in the Celebrity DBI in January of 2018 (a few months after her engagement to Prince Harry), she was recognized by nearly 67% of respondents and ranked in the top 35 across three attributes including Aspiration (33), Influence (28) and Trend Setter (26).
Meghan was liked to some degree by nearly 88% of consumers who recognize her, which ranked her 750th out of the 4,409 celebrities in the DBI in 2018.
Since that time, and after Meghan and Prince Harry announced they would be taking a step back from the Royal family, her Awareness jumped nearly 15% to over 82% of respondents recognizing her to some degree. While her Awareness jumped significantly, her scores in all other attributes dropped.
In 2020, she was liked by nearly 76 percent consumers, which ranks her 2,971st out of the current 4,840 celebrities in the database. Meghan’s top attribute currently (outside of Awareness) is now Influence, where she ranks 717th out of the celebrities in the database.
When Prince Harry was tested in 2018, he ranked in the top 175 across all attributes (outside of Appeal) including being ranked 5th in Influence and 16th in Aspiration. He was recognized by just over 90% of consumers who were tested, ranking him 127th in the database with just over 90% of consumers liking him to some degree.
Since then, and after the news broke in 2020, all of Prince Harry’s attribute scores dropped. In Appeal, he went from 90% to just over 79% of consumers who are Aware of him and liking him to some degree. Influence remains his best attribute, but he now ranks 413th out of the current 4,840 celebrities in the DBI.
Although the data shows a decrease in selective categories for both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, we also see that the declines were not drastic changes.
Though their decision was shocking and displeased quite a few, the data shows that the couple remains well liked and even more well known.
We’ll continue to watch to see what’s next for Meghan and Harry in this new chapter of life and how that changes (or doesn’t change) their scores and marketability.
About Celebrity DBI
Celebrity DBI is TMA’s proprietary celebrity evaluation system built for brands. It’s powered by a 5 million-member research panel and measures celebrities across the attributes of awareness, appeal, breakthrough, endorsement, influence, trendsetter, aspiration, and trust, with an additional overall score based on a combination of awareness and appeal. The mix of attributes tell a more robust story behind the celebrities’ potential effectiveness as a spokesperson or brand ambassador, helping brands get the best return on their investment. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.