Tuesday, 27 Oct 2020

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry face huge hit to US plans if Donald Trump wins election

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Meghan and Prince Harry have been accused of campaigning against US President Mr Trump by commentators and even a Republican Congressman. While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have never explicitly backed either of the candidates running for the White House, Meghan’s definition of the upcoming US vote as “the most important election of our lifetime” has led many to think she is backing Democrat Joe Biden. 

But while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step into the political realm is in line with Meghan’s interest in politics, it could be detrimental to their brand, according to brand and reputation management expert Eric Schiffer.

Asked whether a second term of Mr Trump would damage the Sussexes, Mr Schiffer told Express.co.uk: “People would probably look back and see that as detrimental.

“If Trump won, they would take a hit throughout America.”

Meghan has campaigned over the summer to push more US citizens, in particular women, to register to vote. 

Speaking about how the problem of voter suppression still plagues the US during a virtual event called When All Women Vote, Meghan spoke about the upcoming vote saying: “We all know what’s at stake this year”.

She added: “But we can and must do everything we can to ensure all women have their voices heard.

“Because at this juncture, if we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem.

“If you aren’t going out there and voting, then you’re complicit. 

“If you’re complacent, you’re complicit.”

In a clip recorded for the Time 100 special aired by ABC, the Duke of Sussex also spoke about the upcoming election, saying it was important to reject hate and misinformation.

Mr Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, said Meghan and Harry’s recent videos in which they spoke about the US election have likely alienated parts of America.   


Saying the Sussexes have recently touched upon topics that “don’t sit well with Americans who are Trump fans”, he said: “That is like asking for a war with a part of America at a time when they want to build their brand and create a level of interest as producers and as entertainment creators.

“There is no logic to create a partnership brand by in essence attacking the President and suggesting that people need to vote so that there is a reduction in hateful speech.

“That’s a dog whistle to anyone that says ‘get Republicans out’.

“Republicans will see Meghan and Harry as part of the out-of-touch celebrity elite or those actors that are suddenly primadonnas of Hollywood and now want to pontificate about politics.”

Yesterday, a Republican Congressman representing Missouri’s 8th congressional district in the House of Representative, Jason Smith, wrote to the British ambassador in Washington claiming Meghan and Harry’s recent remarks during the Time 100 special were “an inappropriate act of domestic interference”. 

He wrote: “As you know, the British Royal Family has long observed a policy of strict neutrality in regard to political matters.

“I am therefore concerned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent comments regarding the United States Presidential Election, especially given international conversations surrounding foreign interference in our election and the Duke’s status as a guest of the United States.

“These actions represent a serious breach of the British Royal Family’s policy of political neutrality and an inappropriate act of domestic interference by one of our closest allies.”

Claims Meghan has been breaching the Royal Family’s long-standing political neutrality had previously been dismissed by US royal commentator Marlene Koenig. 

She said in mid-September: “Meghan has been discussing voting and voter registration.

“She is not saying to vote for a particular candidate.

“Moreover, she is living in the US, as a US citizen, as a non-working royal.

“Her statements or conversations do not clash with the British Constitution, the monarchy and the members of the Royal Family refraining from discussing British politics.

“The Queen is not the sovereign of the US.

“Thus, the Duchess of Sussex’s statements have nothing to do with the UK, so she is not violating the role of a royal in the UK.”   

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