Prince Harry has joined his wife Meghan Markle in her crusade to encourage Americans to vote in the upcoming election. While the Duchess of Sussex has been vocal about voting, the Queen’s grandson had remained mum on the subject until his appearance on ABC’s TIME100 special. “Every four years we are told the same thing, that this is the most important election of our lifetime,” Meghan said in their joint video message. “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 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.”
The Duke’s remarks on Tuesday were surprising given that it is against protocol for members of the British royal family to become involved in politics, according to HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO!. As Head of State, Queen Elizabeth has to “remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters.” The royal family’s website states, “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.”
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
Meghan is poised to make history becoming the first British royal family member to publicly exercise their right to vote this year. Explaining why she intends to vote on Election Day, the Duchess previously told Marie Claire: “I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless.” She continued, “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.”
Gloria Steinem recently revealed to Access that Meghan has cold-called voters encouraging them to vote. The social political activist said, “[Meghan] came home to vote. The first thing we did, and why she came to see me, was we sat at the dining room table here where I am right now and cold-called voters. Said, ‘Hello I’m Meg’ and ‘Hello I’m Gloria’ and ‘Are you going to vote?’ That was her initiative.” Although the Duchess has not endorsed a specific candidate, she spoke of “change” during the virtual When All Women Vote Couch Party.