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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are urging Americans to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election. But Buckingham Palace, in true Buckingham Palace fashion, is distancing itself from all that.
On September 22nd—aka National Voter Registration Day—the Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared in a short video during the ABC broadcast revealing the 2020 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. As alumni of the list, the couple sent a message of congratulations and gratitude for this year’s participants. Then, they took the opportunity to express the importance of voting this year (and every year, but seriously, especially this year).
“Every four years we are told the same thing, that this is the most important election of our lifetime,” Markle said. “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 then added, “This election, I’m not going to be able to vote here in the U.S. But many of you may not know that I haven’t been able to vote in the U.K. my entire life."
"As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity," he said.
The Queen of England is expected to remain politically neutral, so she—along with every other member of the British royalty, as Harry mentioned—doesn’t participate in elections. And now, the Crown is keeping their distance from Harry’s apparently political statement. In a comment to The Times (People reports), Palace representatives said, "The Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex: "Congratulations to this year's transformative leaders and change makers. You work tirelessly to create a better world, a better global community for all of us" #TIME100 https://t.co/3aojLBhOVu pic.twitter.com/aqOkVUNFBX
— TIME (@TIME) September 23, 2020
Prince Harry hasn’t often expressed his personal political views, but Markle has been much more vocal. In August, Markle spoke with Marie Claire about why participating in the upcoming U.S. election is of deep personal importance to her.
"I know what it's like to have a voice, and also what it's like to feel voiceless," Markle told the magazine. "I also know that so many men and women have put their lives on the line for us to be heard. And that opportunity, that fundamental right, is in our ability to exercise our right to vote and to make all of our voices heard.”
Also in August, at The 19th virtual summit, Markle reminded the audience that voting is not only a right but a privilege that is “not to be taken for granted. My husband for example—he's never been able to vote."
The Crown may deem Prince Harry and Markle’s statement encouraging people to vote as overly political, but we certainly don’t! We’ll go ahead and echo their statements: If you haven’t already registered to vote and come up with a voting plan, do as the Duchess does and do it.