It is protocol that members of the Royal Family do not speak publicly about political matters, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in uncharted waters after stepping down as senior royals at the end of March. The couple moved to the US, where Meghan is a citizen, and are speaking up on all sorts of issues such as womens’ empowerment, racial inequality, the environment and creating a better digital world. However, one issue that has stuck out as different to anything royals have done before is their repeated encouragement to get Americans to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Indeed, Meghan herself acknowledged the change when she said that she was now able to “use her voice” in a way that she could not before.
In an interview with The 19th, a US non-profit non-partisan newsroom, Meghan talked about Black Lives Matter and the conversations that have sprung up around racism since the death of George Floyd earlier this year.
She said: “From my standpoint, it’s not new to see this undercurrent of racism, and certainly unconscious bias.
“But I think to see the changes that are being made right now is something that I look forward to being a part of.
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Meghan Markle has been speaking out in the run up to the US election
Meghan Markle once called Donald Trump “divisive” and “misogynistic”
“And being a part of using my voice in a way that I haven’t been able to as late.
“So yeah, it’s good to be home.”
These comments suggest she plans to speak about more about political matters, as she did before she married into the Royal Family.
For example, before she married Harry in 2018, Meghan was a UN Women’s Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership, encouraging women all over the world to engage with the political process in their country.
Meghan Markle at a UN Women event with her mother Doria Ragland in 2015
She was also openly anti-Donald Trump, branding him “divisive” and “misogynistic” in 2016.
On The Nightly Show with Larry Whilmore, she said: “Yes, of course, Trump is divisive, think about female voters alone, right?
“I think it was in 2012 the Republican party lost the female vote by 12 points.
“That is a huge number and as misogynistic as Trump is, and so vocal about it, that’s a huge chunk of it.”
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Meghan Markle criticised Donald Trump in an interview with Larry Whilmore in 2016
She even claimed she might “just stay in Canada” if Mr Trump won, as that is where she was living to film the TV show Suits.
Since this hint in the interview with The 19th, Meghan has refrained from openly supporting a US presidential candidate while urging Americans to vote, although it is widely believed she is privately supporting Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
However, she and Harry have spoken about the election on a number of occasions in interviews and videos.
On National Voter Registration Day, she appeared in a Time100 video with Harry in which they encouraged Americans to vote, and also discussed the toxicity of some online debate.
Meghan said: “Every four years we are told the same thing: that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But this one is.
“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.”
Harry added: “This election I’m not going to be able to vote here in the US.
Meghan and Harry in their Time100 video encouraging Americans to vote
“But many of you may not know that I haven’t been able to vote in the UK my entire life.
“As we approach this November, it is vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”
There is just a week now until polling day in the US and many royal watchers will be avidly waiting to see if the Sussexes say anything more about the election.