With their departure as senior royals, it’s no surprise the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have attracted a significant amount of press attention in the past year. And whilst new data reveals The Queen as the most-covered royal by the press, it turns out Meghan is the most-Googled royal of the year.
Digital PR agency Banc crunched the numbers to see how many news articles mentioned members of the Royal Family over the past 12 months, along with their Google Trends scores.
An incredible 550,948 online news articles were written about The Queen worldwide in the past year, amounting to more than 1,500 stories a day. Prince Harry came in second, with just shy of 265,000 stories, followed by the Duchess of Sussex and Prince William, with the Duchess of Cambridge rounding out the top five.
The only time Prince Charles gained more press articles and attention than his sons was in April when it was announced he tested positive for COVID-19. And despite the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, Prince Andrew only had 72,125 articles written about him in the past year, although interest in Meghan dipped during this time.
Although Meghan received less than half of the press coverage The Queen did, coming in at 246,525 articles, trend data reveals her as the royal with the most Google searches in the past year.
A person’s Google Trends interest score varies from zero to 100 – with zero being no interest and 100 being the hottest news – and Meghan’s score is currently the highest of the Royal Family.
“When the royals are inputted into Google Trends’ calculator The Queen only comes in third place, just behind Prince Harry and way behind Meghan Markle,” Banc said in their study. “The Duchess of Sussex (to give her new Royal title) is the member of the family most of us are searching for, with a Google Trends score of 18/100. This might sound low, but The Queen currently sits on 10/100 and she’s arguably the most famous person on the planet (and subject of nearly 50,000 news articles a month, remember).”
Prince Harry has a Google Trends score of 11/100, while his brother and father both share a score of 3/100. The Duchess of Cambridge ranks higher at 7/100, and Prince Andrew’s score came in at 4/100, despite the interest in his recent personal issues.
Google search trends do vary seasonally; for example, Meghan reached a score of 100/100 in May 2019 when she gave birth to Archie.
But does Google ranking translate into popularity?
“Unfortunately for Meghan Markle – the interest we have in her as a public does not translate into approval and adoration,” Banc said. “YouGov rank the royals on public approval and appreciation – and their stats put The Queen way out on top with a 73% approval rating. William and Kate come in second and third respectively, as the bright and shiny new generation of royals.”
Meghan, comparatively, ranked as the eighth-most popular royal, behind Prince Charles at number-seven. Her husband, the Duke of Sussex, ranked fourth, followed by the Duke of Edinburgh at fifth, and Princess Anne at number-six.