Meghan Markle is using her voice to speak up. Months after stepping back as a senior member of the royal family, the Duchess of Sussex has admitted that she knows what it feels like to be “voiceless.” Prince Harry’s wife made the candid confession to Marie Claire, while explaining why she plans to vote on Election Day this November. “I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless,” the American-born royal said. “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.”
Meghan went on to share a quote from suffragist Kate Sheppard. “One of my favorite quotes, and one that my husband and I have referred to often, is from Kate Sheppard, a leader in the suffragist movement in New Zealand, who said, ‘Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops,’” the Duchess said. “That is why I vote.”
The Queen, on the other hand, remains “strictly neutral with respect to political matters.” The royal family’s website explains, “By convention, The Queen does not vote or stand for election, however Her Majesty does have important ceremonial and formal roles in relation to the government of the UK.” Although senior members of Her Majesty’s family do not exercise their right to vote, according to Newsweek, Meghan, a US citizen, is no longer a working member of the royal family.
Last month, Meghan spoke about chasing convictions with action during her keynote speech at the virtual 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit. “Look, sometimes it’s not obvious what to do. Often, it’s fear that paralyzes us and stops us from being brave and being bold. But don’t underestimate that you have some of the answers. Don’t underestimate your ability to push through the fear,” she said. “You have, rooted in your convictions, the ability to craft a world that you know is just and kind and your gut will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong; what’s fair and unfair. The hardest part and it was the hardest part for me is to chase your convictions with action.”
In her remarks, the Suits alum noted that “there will always be negative voices.” “But you can and will use your own voices to drown out the noise. Because that’s what it is, it is just noise. But your voices are those of truth. And hope. And your voices can and should be much louder,” Meghan said. “I know you have already done so much and made so many people’s lives better. The moment we are living through right now asks all of us to do more. It’s a moment where your voices, and your action, have never been more urgently needed.”