Once upon a time, before she was betrothed to Prince Harry, one Rachel Meghan Markle was very politically outspoken, posting Instagrams in support of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential run. But as a new member of the Royal Family, the soon-to-be Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales must abide by royal protocol. This means no leg-crossing, no garishly bright nail polish, and absolutely positively no expressing of her clear disdain for Donald Trump.
The U.K. Parliament website reads, “Although not prohibited by law, it is considered unconstitutional for the Monarch to vote in an election.” This goes for the rest of the family. Additionally, they are strongly discouraged from voicing their political opinions.
Still, experts say that no amount of fascinators or nude pantyhose will (completely) hide Markle's real convictions. "Members of the Royal Family try to stay neutral about controversial and political topics, but Meghan has already brought up the Me Too movement during a talk since becoming engaged to Prince Harry," Anne Chertoff, a royal expert and WeddingWire trend analyst, told Refinery29. During a panel in February, Markle said, "Right now, with so many campaigns like Me Too and Time’s Up, there’s no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them."
Chertoff added that she doesn't think Markle will be as vocal as she has been in the past, especially now that she's deleted all of her social media and said goodbye to her lifestyle blog The Tig, but she still won't shy away from topics she feels passionate about — similarly to how Princess Diana took on "controversial" topics in the '80s and '90s, including AIDS and minefields in Africa.
Celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss told Refinery29 that she thinks Markle's fearless candor is what Harry loves about her. "Part of the attraction to Meghan for Harry is she's got Diana in her. She's not afraid and she's powerful in her beliefs. I don't think that's something she's going to hide because she's marrying him," she said.
Part of the attraction to Meghan for Harry is she's got Diana in her. She's not afraid and she's powerful in her beliefs.
While Markle may remain an outspoken feminist, she (probably) won't be making any more statements about Donald Trump, Brexit, or being #WithHer. So let's pour one out for all the times she made comments that would definitely ruffle a few royal feathers now.
That time she encouraged her followers to vote. "Exercise your right to vote — sadly, not everyone in this world has it, so if you do, please let your voice be heard," she wrote on Instagram in September 2016.
That time she posted #ImWithHer. During the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, Markle posted a photo of Hillary Clinton along with the hashtag #ImWithHer.
That time she posted an anti-Brexit Instagram. The Wayback Machine never lies! Soon after the Brexit vote in June 2016, Markle posted an image of a protest sign that reads, “If EU leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me.”
That time she called Donald Trump "divisive" and "misogynistic." During an appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore in May 2016, she said she would move to Canada if Trump were elected president (in reality, she ended up moving even further). "It's really the moment I go; we film Suits in Toronto and I might just stay in Canada," 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 with as misogynistic as Trump is, and so vocal about it, that is a huge chunk of it."
She added, "You're not just voting for a woman if it's Hillary because she's a woman, but certainly because Trump has made it easy to see that you don't really want that kind of world that he's painting."
Markle also reportedly avoided Trump when she worked as a briefcase model on Deal Or No Deal and he was being "super-creepy" to the women according to one of her coworkers.
That time she was pumped to sit close to Hillary Clinton. At the United Nations Women's Conference in Beijing in 2015, where Markle made a speech, she wrote that she was "excited" to sit so close to Clinton.
That time she wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton when she was 11 years old. After seeing a sexist ad for dishwashing liquid, Markle wrote a letter to several prominent women including Clinton, who was first lady at the time. She even got a response from Clinton. At the 2015 UN Women's conference, Markle told the story: "The soap manufacturer Procter & Gamble changed the commercial for their ivory clear dishwashing liquid. They changed it from 'Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans' to 'People all over America.' It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions. At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality."
While it's safe to say that Markle won't be making political waves on social media as princess, she has said she's excited that her royal status will give her a platform for her philanthropic pursuits. She has done meaningful work around menstrual health and other gender-equality issues around the world, and we look forward to seeing her use the Royal Crown for good.
Still, we can't help but hope that one day she might slip up and tear into Trump — or at least paint on some hot-pink nail polish.
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