Meghan Markle Creates History by Becoming First UK Royal to Cast Vote in US Elections
File photo of Britain's Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. (Photo: REUTERS)
While the monarchy isn’t generally associated with a democratic process, and the Queen or Prince of England cannot vote, Meghan Markle created history by becoming the first-ever Royal to cast her vote in US elections.
The Duchess of Sussex is reported to have voted during the U.S. presidential election. Even though Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family earlier this year, they are still a part of the Royal Family, making Meghan’s vote an anomaly.
According to Newsweek, a close source revealed that she was going to vote. They aren’t clear whether she went to cast her ballot on the election day or participated in early voting.
The Royals in England cannot cast vote even though there is no written law against it, Harry revealed when he was busy promoting Meghan’s political views and right to vote. According to Buckingham Palace website, the Queen doesn’t cast her vote, neither stand in any election, to maintain political neutrality. Her stand could influence voters, for or against anyone, and for this reason, no one in the Royal Family has voted in the last 68 years.
While being a Royal may sound fancy, it comes with a lot more restrictions than just not being able to vote (which isn’t a law, more like a suggestion). Legally, any member of the Royal Family cannot practise many things we take for granted like their freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to privacy, and freedom of travel. These are all restricted and have to be done only in accordance with the Royal Family rulebook. Sometimes even clothing and makeup can be restricted to a colour pallet on certain occasions.
However, Meghan is still a legal citizen of the United States of America and has a right to vote. Her husband, on the other hand, cannot vote in America (as he is not a citizen) neither in his home country, England (due to the royal restrictions).
The Duke of Sussex, Harry, has encouraged people to vote and exercise their constitutional right along with his wife this election season on multiple occasion. “As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity,” he said in a former statement according to the Insider.
Meghan noticed the importance of race (she is mixed race), and the infamous president, Donald Trump’s relation with anti-black and pro-white supremacy groups. In an interview with Gloria Steinem, she said how representation is important in the political spectrum. That she’s felt a lack of relatability due to her biracial upbringing and is excited to see someone like her (Kamala Harris).
She also noted how historically, black people have been intimidated against voting.