Meghan Markle Is Sparking a Debate After Speaking Out About Politics
It's been a long-standing rule that members of the royal family aren't allowed to do or say anything that could be perceived as political. The British monarchy is expected to remain politically neutral, but after stepping down as a senior member, Meghan Markle has spoken out about voting in the upcoming U.S. election — and the unprecedented move has sparked a debate amongst royal watchers.
During her latest speaking engagement, Meghan teamed up with When We All Vote to discuss the importance of voting and address voter suppression, warning the American public, "we all know what’s at stake this year." "If you aren't going out there and voting, then you're complicit. If you're complacent, you're complicit," she continued her impassioned plea, adding: "In the fraught moment that we find our nation, exercising your right to vote isn't simply being part of a solution, it's being part of a legacy."
Shortly after her speech, critics claimed that the Duchess of Sussex was "actively campaigning against Donald Trump," with one calling the move "completely inappropriate." Piers Morgan even suggested that Meghan and Harry be stripped of their royal titles for getting involved in a foreign election. And when Meghan's supporters began pointing out that she's an American and a non-working royal, Morgan responded: "Last time I checked she's still calling herself the Duchess of Sussex."
Later, he added, "She can do what she likes, she just can’t make politically partisan statements while remaining Duchess of Sussex. The royals are not allowed to do that. If Meghan & Harry truly want ‘freedom’ from royal duty & rules, they should stop trading off their royal titles."
Meanwhile, others came to Meghan's defense — including royal reporter and co-author of the book Finding Freedom, Omid Scobie, who says critics should redirect their "tears and energy" on Prince Andrew's alleged involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. "Would love to occasionally see the tears and energy these morons spend on a non-working royal used on Prince Andrew's horrendous mess. Or is there nothing worse than a woman of colour with a voice?" he tweeted.
British historian and author Kate Williams chimed in, "If those attacking #Meghan this morning actually WATCHED the video, they’d see she’s simply telling people to vote and take the election seriously. Yes we can all guess who she supports, but does she say it? No. Any excuse to tear her apart," she said, including the hashtag "#Misogynoir."
Earlier this year, Meghan gave a moving speech to 2020 graduates with a powerful message about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, and according to Queen Elizabeth's former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, it "would have been pretty impossible" for her to speak out if she was still in the royal family. Meghan, herself, even admitted she was hesitant to bring up the subject, but said that "the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing."