The disputes between Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan and the Buckingham Palace stir emotions also on Czech social networks. Following the broadcast of the royal couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 7, the words of the Duchess and Duke were positively evaluated by only 11% of all commentators in Czech social media. That’s according to an analysis conducted by Newton Media.
On March 7, CBS TV station broadcasted a controversial interview of the royal couple with presenter Oprah Winfrey. The interview provided several claims that have become the subject of media attention but also debates on social networks. From March 7 to 23, 18,839 mentions appeared on this topic in Czech social media.
The statements of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were negatively rated by 89 % of users. “In the contributions, it was most often said that the Duchess is just an actress and her claims do not make a credible impression. According to the discussants, the royal couple intends to gain attention,” says Martina Maňhalová, Newton Media analyst. Criticism of Duchess Meghan has often been made in the form of short pejorative labels without context. Users called her a gold digger or a slanderer.
The simplified labelling was not avoided even by the vice-president of the SPD movement, Radim Fiala, who described Meghan in his post as neo-Marxist sunshine who behaves like inadaptable immigrants. On the contrary, 11% of commentators rated the statements of the royal couple positively. In these posts, words of support were used, when people wished the couple the freedom and peace they had acquired or sympathized with their difficult situation. They also appreciated that they were not afraid to speak up about practices at the Buckingham Palace.
Better behind closed doors
While critical remarks against the royal couple were significantly higher, in the case of the royal family, the tonality of contributions was much more balanced. Following the controversial interview, 54% of contributions commented positively about the royal family, while 46 % of mentions were negative. The debaters appreciated that the royal family did not need to “wash their dirty laundry” in public and preferred to deal with private matters outside of the media. The contributions also stated that the consent of Harry and Meghan’s marriage was already a concession and a clear gesture of the Duchess’s admission to the royal family. Users also often compared the character traits and demeanour of Meghan with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, and highlighted the level and behaviour of the Queen. Critical contributions referred, in particular, to historical events related to Princess Diana, where users see similarities in the royal family’s approach to Duchess Meghan as to the deceased princess.
Most of the debates (80 %) about the controversial interview took place on Facebook, most often under the contributions of online news accounts. “Many users said they formed their opinions based on fragmentary parts of the interview or media messages. It remains to be seen whether the full text of the interview broadcast by Czech Television will influence the current opinions of users and whether this widely publicized topic is still attractive to them,” concludes Martina Maňhalová.