• Thu. Mar 4th, 2021

Meghan Markle labels November vote the most important of our lifetime – Daily Mail

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle faced a backlash today for speaking out about the upcoming U.S. election despite the British royal family’s strict political neutrality.  

The Duke of Sussex told voters to ‘reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity’ while the Duchess called the presidential race the ‘most important election of our lifetime’ as the couple urged Americans to use their right to vote.  

Speaking in a Time 100 video message, apparently filmed from the couple’s California home, Harry admitted he was not eligible to vote in the November 3 election – adding that he had never voted in the UK either where convention dictates that royals should keep well clear of politics.  

But while Harry and Meghan did not endorse a candidate, their intervention sparked criticism from viewers who said it was none of their business and thought it ‘obvious’ that Harry and Meghan were backing Joe Biden over Donald Trump. 

DailyMail.com editor-at-large Piers Morgan said: ‘Prince Harry poking his woke nose into the US election and effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump is completely unacceptable behaviour for a member of the Royal Family.’

Royal biographer Robert Jobson told MailOnline that it ‘may be easier’ for Meghan and Harry to give up their royal titles altogether given the ‘business and political agenda they appear to want to pursue’. 

‘Frankly, I think it would be better for Harry to withdraw, along with his son, from the line of succession to avoid further confusion,’ he said.   

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out about the upcoming U.S. election, in a stark break with British tradition that prohibits royal involvement in politics

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out about the upcoming U.S. election, in a stark break with British tradition that prohibits royal involvement in politics

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out about the upcoming U.S. election, in a stark break with British tradition that prohibits royal involvement in politics

For his part, Harry said: 'As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity'

For his part, Harry said: 'As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity'

For his part, Harry said: ‘As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity’

‘We’re just six weeks out from Election Day and today is National Voter Registration Day,’ said Markle, 39.  

‘Every four years we are told the same thing, that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But this one is,’ she said, in the video clip broadcast as part of the Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Harry and Meghan were included in the 2018 list, but not in this year’s edition.  

Markle continued: ‘When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you matter, because you do and you deserve to be heard.’ 

For his part, Harry said: ‘As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.’ 

Harry urged Americans to be careful about what kind of content they consume online.

‘When the bad outweighs the good, for many, whether we realize it or not, it erodes our ability to have compassion and our ability to put ourself in someone else’s shoes. Because when one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially. It’s time to not only reflect, but act,’ he said. 

Harry also referenced the fact that, because he is not a U.S. citizen, he will not be able to vote in November. 

He added that he had never been able to vote in the UK, despite being theoretically eligible in the last five general elections since he turned 18. 

Although British law does not explicitly forbid members of the royal family from voting, the expectation that royals remain apolitical is considered sacrosanct, and in practice they never participate in elections, by voting or otherwise.  

But since announcing plans to step down as senior royals in January and moving to North America, Meghan and Harry have quietly expanded their involvement in politics as they forge their own path.

Their comments led to criticism from viewers who said it was inappropriate for British royals to comment on an American election. 

‘Why’s a UK prince and his wife getting involved in a U.S. election? What business is it of his? Didn’t we fight a war to end interference from the British Monarchy?,’ asked one viewer. 

Another said it was ‘obvious’ that the royal couple were supporting Joe Biden, given Meghan’s criticisms of Donald Trump before she became a royal – saying their intervention was ‘unacceptable for royal family members’. 

‘Why would a prince of the realm of the UK encourage U.S. citizens to vote in a U.S. election? How can this be allowed?,’ asked another. 

Trump

Trump

Biden

Biden

Markle has made her position on the 2020 election clear in a number of appearances in recent weeks, expressing enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket

How British royals are expected to keep out of politics  

Under Britain’s constitutional monarchy, powers which theoretically belong to the Queen – such as appointing ministers and approving legislation – are exercised in her name by political leaders. 

This system means that political decisions are taken by the elected government rather than unelected royals, while keeping the monarchy as a symbol of the British state and its traditions. 

The royals’ political neutrality, which the Queen has scrupulously observed for 68 years, is key to maintaining this balance and to preserving the monarchy’s popularity. 

A YouGov poll earlier this year found majority support among both Conservative and Labour voters as well as Brexiteers and Europhiles for maintaining the British monarchy.  

The Queen’s uncle King Edward VIII had to abdicate in 1936 because the government refused to support his planned marriage to American divorcee Wallis Simpson – fatally compromising his neutrality.   

While there is no law explicitly preventing the Queen or her family from voting in elections, doing so would be an unacceptable breach of protocol.   

The Queen holds weekly conversations with her prime ministers and she is entitled to ‘advise and warn’ them when necessary, but the nature of her advice is never made public.  

Even her guarded comment that voters should ‘think very carefully about the future’ ahead of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum was seen as an unusual intervention.  

Prince Charles is also known for writing a series of letters to ministers on policy subjects, some of which were made public in 2015.

In letters to Tony Blair in 2004 and 2005 he voiced hope that ‘more could be done to encourage people to buy British’, and bemoaned the ‘weight of bureaucracy’ faced by UK farmers.  

William and Kate have also spoken out on environmental issues, launching a global prize to tackle climate issues last year.  

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Robert Jobson, whose latest book is called The Royal Operations Manual, said the couple’s titles were a cause of ‘confusion’ – while adding that it was reasonable for Meghan to vote in the country where she is a citizen. 

‘Given the business and political agenda Meghan and Harry appear to want to pursue it may be easier for them and for the Royal Family for them not to have royal titles,’ he told MailOnline. 

‘They are not carrying out public duties, live abroad and are really completely detached from our monarchical system now so what difference would it make.

‘Meghan, after all, holds American citizenship and has always voted. The business about royals not getting involved in politics is less clear when it comes to Meghan or what the protocol should be in this case.

‘But as she is now back living in her country I am sure many would think it wrong that she is not allowed to exercise her democratic right to vote.

‘Royals even in this country are entitled to their opinion and, such as the very vocal the Prince of Wales and Prince William voice them, particularly on the environment and the natural world. They see this as leadership.

‘The important part is that they are not partisan, as for the monarch or her direct heir to be partisan could cause a constitutional crisis.’

Mr Jobson said he was ‘increasingly open’ to the idea of stripping the Sussexes of their royal titles for their own benefit and that of the royal family.   

‘Frankly, I think it would be better for Harry to withdraw, along with his son, from the line of succession to avoid further confusion,’ he said. 

‘By saying they are HRHs and the Duke and Duchess, but not allowed to use the titles, just confuses the situation.

‘With that issue out of the way, Meghan encouraging people to vote is something that would be praised not criticised.

‘She speaks well and has passion for political issues. Without a royal title to hold her back it may set her free to pursue a political career.

‘Ditching his title, and that includes ‘Prince’ would free up Harry too, in the land where he says he is happy and wants to make this life and where titles mean nothing.’ 

This week, feminist activist Gloria Steinem revealed that Markle had joined her in cold-calling Americans and urging them to vote.

Steinem told Access Hollywood: ‘She came home to vote. The first thing we did, and why she came to see me, was we sat at the dining room table where I am right now and we cold-called voters.’

‘Said ‘hello I’m Meg’ and ‘hello I’m Gloria’ and ‘are you going to vote?’ That was her initiative.’

Meghan has also told Steinem she was ‘so excited’ to see fellow mixed-race woman Kamala Harris nominated for vice president, in another strong hint that she is backing the Democratic ticket.  

Last month, Markle (left) joined Gloria Steinem for a 'backyard chat' in which she made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November

Last month, Markle (left) joined Gloria Steinem for a 'backyard chat' in which she made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November

Last month, Markle (left) joined Gloria Steinem for a ‘backyard chat’ in which she made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November 

Before marrying Prince Harry in 2018, Markle was no stranger to politics, ridiculing then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during a 2016 appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.

She said Trump was ‘misogynistic and divisive’ and indicated her support for Hillary Clinton. 

Harry is a friend of former president Barack Obama, interviewing him on a guest-edited episode of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme in 2017.  

‘Part of my role and part of my job is to shine a spotlight on issues that need that spotlight, whether it’s people, whether it’s causes, issues, whatever it is,’ Harry said at the time.

‘So I will continue to play my part in society and do my job to the best of my abilities so that I can wake up in the morning and feel energised.’

Despite the Obama friendship, the couple avoided a constitutional row by inviting neither the Obamas nor the Trumps to their 2018 wedding at Windsor Castle. 

Earlier this year, two Russian pranksters said they had duped the Duke of Sussex into criticising Trump in a phone call where they posed as climate activist Greta Thunberg. 

‘I don’t mind saying this to you guys, I think the mere fact that Donald Trump is pushing the coal industry so big in America, he has blood on his hands,’ Harry allegedly said. 

Buckingham Palace did not confirm or deny the authenticity of the call.  

Over the past few weeks, Meghan has taken part in multiple interviews and summits – having reportedly grown ‘frustrated’ at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal. 

Last month, she joined Gloria for a ‘backyard chat’ in which she made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November, expressing her excitement at seeing a woman of color on the Democratic ticket – Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris – and explaining that the nomination was particularly meaningful to her because she is biracial.

Over the past few months, Markle has  moved to become more politically active and taken part in multiple interviews and summits - having reportedly grown 'frustrated' at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal

Over the past few months, Markle has  moved to become more politically active and taken part in multiple interviews and summits - having reportedly grown 'frustrated' at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal

Over the past few months, Markle has  moved to become more politically active and taken part in multiple interviews and summits – having reportedly grown ‘frustrated’ at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal 

‘I’m so excited to see that kind of representation,’ she said. ‘You know, for me, being biracial, growing up, whether it was a doll or a person in office, you need to see someone who looks like you in some capacity. 

‘As many of us believe, you can only be what you can see. And in the absence of that, how can you aspire to something greater than what you see in your own world? I think maybe now we’re starting to break-through in a different way.’

Meanwhile, she has also taken in voter appeals, at which she made a bold plea to women across the US to take part in the 2020 presidential election, speaking out about the need for ‘change’ at an online voter summit, while telling participants: ‘If we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem.’ 

Meghan made her stance on the 2020 presidential race clear when she addressed viewers at the When All Women Vote Couch Party – an online event organized by non-profit organization When We All Vote, which was founded by ‘her friend’ Michelle Obama. 

Appearing as the opening speaker at the summit, Meghan expressed her ‘excitement’ at taking part, before telling those involved with the organization: ‘We need [your work] now more than ever.’

‘I’m really thrilled that you asked me to be a part of this,’ the mother-of-one began, adding: ‘I think this is such an exceptional time [and I am] happy to be here for my friend Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote, and to kick off the When All Women Vote Couch Party.’  

TIME 100: THE FULL LIST 

PIONEERS 

Megan Thee Stallion

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Ibram X. Kendi

Nathan Law

Tomi Adeyemi

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir

Julie K. Brown

Cecilia Martinez

Maya Moore

Chase Strangio

Zhang Yongzhen

Tourmaline

Waad al-Kateab

Abubacarr Tambadou

Gabriela Cámara

Camilla Rothe

Rebecca Gomperts

Ravindra Gupta

Lauren Gardner

Shi Zhengli

Shiori Ito

ARTISTS 

The Weeknd

Ali Wong

Michael B. Jordan 

Selena Gomez

J Balvin

JoJo Siwa

Halsey

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Jennifer Hudson

Yo-Yo Ma

Dapper Dan

Anaïs Mitchell

Michaela Coel

Bong Joon Ho

LASTESIS

Julie Mehretu

Ayushmann Khurrana

LEADERS 

Dr Anthony Fauci

Kamala Harris

Tsai Ing-wen

John Roberts

Xi Jinping

Donald Trump

Caesar

Angela Merkel

Joe Biden

Jair Bolsonaro

Nancy Pelosi

Narendra Modi

William Barr

Anne Hidalgo

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Mary Kay Henry

Nemonte Nenquimo

Ursula von der Leyen

Jung Eun-kyeong

Bonnie Castillo

Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum

Yousef Al Otaiba

TITANS

Gabrielle Union

Dwyane Wade

Sundar Pichai

Tyler Perry

MacKenzie Scott

Robert F. Smith

Lewis Hamilton

Jerome Powell

Eric Yuan

Patrick Mahomes

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot

Greg Berlanti

Shari Redstone

Tony Elumelu

Zhong Nanshan

Kristalina Georgieva

Lisa Nishimura

General Charles Q. Brown Jr

Daniel Zhang

Gwynne Shotwell

Tunji Funsho

ICONS

Amy O’Sullivan

Black Lives Matter Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi

Ady Barkan

Billy Porter

Naomi Osaka

Angela Davis

Chi Chia-wei

Megan Rapinoe

Felipe Neto

Allyson Felix

Sister Norma Pimentel

David Hill

Arussi Unda

Nury Turkel

Lina Attalah

Bilkis  

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