What America Really Thinks of Prince William’s Big Project


Prince William’s New York visit to promote his climate-change project has the backing of almost half of America, according to exclusive polling for Newsweek.

The Prince of Wales met U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to discuss the importance of fighting climate change ahead of a summit promoting his Earthshot Prize. The main awards ceremony will be held in November in Singapore.

Earthshot hands out £1 million (around $1.24 million) to five projects each year that provide innovative solutions to the climate emergency.

Prince William visits soccer club Bournemouth AFC’s Vitality Stadium in southern England to promote his Homewards programme, on September 7, 2023. The royal arrived in New York to promote the Earthshot Prize on September 18.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

In December 2022, William held the awards ceremony in Boston but was booed when he turned up in the crowd during a Celtics basketball game and was rocked by a race scandal back home. Lady Susan Hussey, former lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II, cross-examined a Black charity boss on where she was really from, having already been told the woman was British.

Since then, Prince Harry launched wide-ranging attack on William in his book Spare, published in January, only then to crash himself in the U.S. popularity polls.

Redfield & Wilton, on behalf of Newsweek, asked 1,500 U.S. adults on September 17 whether they supported or opposed William speaking on environmental and climate issues while he is in the U.S.

And 47 percent supported the move, compared to 13 percent who opposed it, across the country as a whole. On the East Coast, there was even more backing for the prince, with 58 percent supporting the move and 10 percent in opposition.

Support for the future king was highest among those who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 (60 percent) and lower among those who voted Donald Trump (37 percent).

Even among Republicans, however, support still comfortably outweighed opposition, which stood at 22 percent.

The boost for William’s U.S. charm offensive comes after he was found by a recent Gallup poll to be a more unifying figure in America than leading politicians.

The prince had a net approval rating in the August survey of plus 37, exceeding Joe Biden (minus 16), Donald Trump (minus 14) and even Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (plus 28).

Recent Redfield & Wilton polling for Newsweek on September 3 and 4 also showed William and Kate Middleton are America’s favorite living royals.

The Princess of Wales had a net approval rating of plus 33 and the Prince of Wales was on plus 28, while King Charles III was on net zero and Queen Camilla was on minus 13.

Prince Harry, meanwhile, was on plus 12, while Meghan was on minus 2, as the Sussexes have become divisive across political lines.

The Duchess of Sussex had a net approval rating among 2020 Trump voters of minus 20, compared to plus 17 among Biden voters. The Duke of Sussex was on minus 4 among Trump voters and plus 26 among Biden voters.

Jack Royston is Newsweek‘s chief royal correspondent based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.


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