Royal News

Meghan Markle ‘would have voted’ in US election even as a royal in the UK – expert

The Duchess of Sussex would have likely exercised her right to vote from the UK had she and the Duke never broke away from the Royal Family, US royal historian Marlene Koenig suggested. The expert told “Meghan is a US citizen and she has the right to vote. 

“I expect she would have voted by absentee ballot if she had remained in the UK.”

However, Mrs Koenig added, Meghan would have probably “not have spoken about it” so publicly as she is doing now as a working royal.

This is because full-time working members of the Royal Family are expected to remain politically neutral.

Speaking about the Queen and her voting rights, the Royal Family’s official website read: “As Head of State The Queen has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters, unable to vote or stand for election.” 

There are no laws or regulations formally preventing royals to vote in elections.

However, the British Government’s website states: “Although not prohibited by law, it is considered unconstitutional for the monarch to vote in an election”.

Similarly, other royals close to the Queen in the line of succession to the throne choose not to cast their ballot as to not sway public opinion.

Meghan herself, who had voiced her opinion on Donald Trump ahead of his election in 2016, did not touch upon political topics in public until she stood down as senior royal in March.

The Duchess recently spoke about royals and their rights to vote as she appeared at The 19th* Represent virtual summit.

Interviewing the founder of The 19th, a non-for-profit media organisation, Meghan mentioned Prince Harry’s voting record saying: “I look at my husband for example.

“He’s never been able to vote, and I think it’s such an interesting thing to say the right to vote is not a privilege, it is a right in of itself.”

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Meghan has been particularly vocal over the past few months about the importance of exercising the right to vote on November 3, when US citizens will be asked to choose their next president.

In a statement issued to Marie Claire magazine, Meghan explained why she is voting, saying she knows what it means to “have a voice” as well as “feel voiceless”.

The Duchess said: “I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless.

“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.

“One of my favourite 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’.

“That is why I vote.” 

In late August, Meghan also took part in the When All Women Vote, a virtual event organised to push women to register to vote.

During her impassioned speech, the Duchess said: “We’re only 75 days away from Election Day and that is so very close, and yet there’s so much work to be done in that amount of time because we all know what’s at stake this year. I know it.

“I think all of you certainly know it, and if you’re here on this fun event with us, then you’re just as mobilised and energised to see the change that we all need and deserve.

“So I’m inspired to see all the work that you’re doing in your communities as well as for your communities.” 


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