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When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the royal family, they lost a lot of supporters in the UK.

But then they moved to Los Angeles, began living more openly, and gained a ton of new fans in America!

Or did they?

The narrative has always been that Meghan is America’s Duchess, and that while the Brits might not offer much sympathy for the way she’s been mistreated by her in-laws, she’s got more than enough defenders on this side of the pond.

Dueling Duchesses

But according to the results of a new poll published this week by UK tabloid The Sun Meghan isn’t quite as popular in the US as we’d previously believed.

The outlet reports that 68.2 percent of Americans chose Kate Middleton as their favorite royal.

And a scant 31 percent voted for Meghan.

Now, it’s worth noting that The Sun‘s report was extremely lacking in pertinent information:

In fact, the newspaper made no mention of who conducted this poll, or how many people were surveyed.

In other words, the report is basically meaningless, and it’s probably nothing more than The Sun editors’ latest effort to get in good with royals.

Dukes and Duchesses

However, the report is worth discussing, as it’s part of a growing effort by the Windsors and the British press to build up Kate and her husband, Prince William, who is currently third in line for the throne.

As you might expect, The Sun‘s piece contained ample gushing praise from a "royal expert" (the UK seems to have a limitless supply of these) who was eager to sing Kate’s praises.

"Kate has become an even bigger superstar without ever setting foot here," said Christopher Andersen.

Masked Middleton

"She embodies everything Americans expect in a princess destined to become Queen — beauty, grace, regal bearing and the ability to connect," the commentator continued.

"Whatever royal scandal is making headlines, the Duchess of Cambridge sails above it all."

This latest round of praise comes as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge prepare for their first visit to the US since 2014.

Kate Middleton on Zoom

Will and Kate will also be making a stop in Barbados, the Caribbean nation that recently voted to cut ties with the UK government, bringing an end to 55 years as part of the British Commonwealth.

The tour is part of the royal family’s ongoing "charm offensive" designed to polish the Windsors’ image with citizens of foreign nations.

And why would the Queen and company care so much about their popularity in countries that are no longer under their domain?

Kate, Will, Elizabeth

Well, for starters, the royals are regarded as their nation’s top diplomats.

If they’re not well-liked overseas, their ability to serve in that capacity is obviously greatly diminished.

On top of that, the royal family justifies its continued existence as an institution with the dubious claim that the money it brings in in tourism revenue is greater than the amount that it costs taxpayers annually.

Kate Middleton Turns 40

That’s almost certainly not true, but it makes sense that Will and Kate would be expected to make a show of drumming up global support in order to keep up appearances.

So when an outlet like The Sun assists in that effort by publishing a "poll" like the one that appeared this week, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

After all, the royals are the British tabloid media’s bread and butter.

Kate Middleton at Wimbledon 2021

It might not be a very friendly partnership, but it is a lucrative one.

And when push comes to shove, The Sun and similar rags will always side with the home team that keeps them in business.