Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020

Meghan and Harry risk stark US reaction if pair continue ‘election interference’

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Meghan and Harry have raised eyebrows within royal circles by speaking out about the upcoming presidential election in the US. While life as a working royal demands complete impartiality, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have since stepped away from their previous roles and no longer represent the Queen. Even so, it was a surprise to many royal watchers when Meghan urged the electorate to hit the ballot boxes for “the most important election of our lifetime” during ABC’s TIME100 special.

Harry, too, addressed the election and encouraged voters to “reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity”.

Meghan is a US citizen and showed her interest in politics before becoming a royal — after she famously dubbed US President Donald Trump “misogynistic” and “divisive” in 2016.

Yet, Harry has never been able to vote in the UK due to his role as a royal and, despite moving to California earlier this year, is still not a US citizen so cannot vote in this election either.

Neither mentioned a particular party or candidate, but many speculate that with President Trump’s public digs towards the Duchess both would support the Democrats.

For instance, after their most recent comments, Mr Trump said: “I’m not a fan of hers [Meghan’s].

“And I would say this — and she probably has heard that — but I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it.”

Buckingham Palace was quick to distance the Firm from the Sussexes’ comments last month to avoid criticism.

A spokesman said: “We would not comment. The Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are in a personal capacity.”

Yet, the couple has still reportedly jeopardized their popularity within the US.

Former New York correspondent Harry Mount explained how he had witnessed, first-hand, the US’ fondness of the Royal Family — but pointed out that there were limits.

He wrote: “Much as they revere the Royal Family, the ardently patriotic Americans don’t like them interfering with their hallowed politics and constitution.

“So they won’t take kindly to Prince Harry’s unprecedented intervention into American politics this week, just before the presidential election.”

Royal author Hugo Vickers also explained: “The golden rule for the Royal Family is that they do not trespass into politics, and most particularly not into party politics.

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“I wish Prince Harry would cease to be a mouthpiece for his wife.”

Mr Mount noted that it was a love for the Royal Family which led Americans to “invent” the Kennedy and Trump “dynasties”.

Yet, he claimed, “in the end, Americans will just ignore Prince Harry” and noted that while they liked him in “full-dress military uniform”, they do not want to listen to his political views.

Writing in The Telegraph last month, Mr Mount concluded: “If Prince Harry knows what’s good for him — and his popularity on both sides of the pond— he should steer clear of politics.”

This is a stark contrast to those who thought the couple had moved to the US after leaving the Firm because it’s where they have a strong fan base.

Royal biographer Andrew Morton told The Times earlier this year: “Meghan will love waking to Good Morning America, where she will be celebrated.”

However, commentator Helen Kirwan-Taylor also claimed in The Telegraph that Meghan and Harry’s comments on the US election “has united everyone against them”.

Interestingly, during their most recent appearance with TIME100 this week, the couple spoke only against online “misinformation” and “hate” in the digital world rather than directly addressing the election.

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