A Hawke's Bay author who wrote a children's book about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has backed her and her husband's decision to step back from the royal family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who reportedly plan to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America, have come under heavy criticism from many since the announcement on Thursday.

A YouGov survey of 1327 Britons found that just under half (45 per cent) supported the Sussexes' decision to step away from royal life.

Children's author Sophie Siers said she is not surprised that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are finding royal life hard. Photo / File
Children's author Sophie Siers said she is not surprised that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are finding royal life hard. Photo / File

Hastings councillor Sophie Siers, who wrote the book Dear Princess Meghan, said the couple's reaction to the criticism they were getting from the UK media was not surprising.

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"I am not surprised that they are finding royal life too hard," she said.

"And as a modern independent woman, perhaps she [Meghan] thinks that she and Harry deserve a decent family life. I certainly couldn't criticise them for that.

"Maybe if the United Kingdom were to be a little kinder to the family, they will return one day."

Dear Princess Meghan follows a young girl, Emma, inspired by the Meghan Markle's rise to royal status. Photo / File
Dear Princess Meghan follows a young girl, Emma, inspired by the Meghan Markle's rise to royal status. Photo / File

In an official statement from the royal couple, the pair said the decision to "step back" came after "many months of reflection and internal discussions".

The Waimarama-based author said she originally put pen to paper for the book because she thought Meghan was "inspirational".

"She is a modern woman who has carved out her own career and life; all while representing organisations that make a difference across the world."

Jacinda Ardern with Sophie Siers' children's book Dear Donald Trump at the 2019 A and P show. Photo / Paul Taylor
Jacinda Ardern with Sophie Siers' children's book Dear Donald Trump at the 2019 A and P show. Photo / Paul Taylor

Dear Princess Meghan, a story that follows a young girl inspired by the actress' rise to royal status, is reportedly one of multiple books of Siers' to make it into New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office.

The YouGov survey also found that Prince Harry is ranked as the UK's second most popular royal - after the Queen herself - which came as no surprise to Siers.

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"I know how much the United Kingdom loves Prince Harry," she said.

"When Meghan married Harry, I thought it could bring about a fantastic relevance to the British monarchy.

"I was so surprised by the lack of warmth and constant criticism of her in the press.

"I had imagined that she would have been welcomed by the public with open arms, as she was making one of their favourite royals so happy."