For as long as the monarchy has existed, members of the British royal family have been expected to stay out of politics, remaining completely apolitical and never, ever voting in elections. But when you add a smart, feminist American to the fold, you can expect there’ll be some challenges to tradition. Yesterday, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle made history by becoming the first royal to vote in the US election.
Though Markle, who now resides in Montecito, California with her husband, Prince Harry, and their child, Archie Harrison, didn’t publicly share that she voted on election day, Newsweek was told by multiple sources that “the duchess is voting” with one adding, “I’m not going to get into methods or timing, but can confirm that the duchess is voting in this election”.
Markle also confirmed she would be voting back in August while speaking to Marie Claire. “I know what it’s like to have a voice and also what it’s like to feel voiceless,” she said. “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 favorite 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.”
After stepping back from their roles as working members of the royal family in January, Meghan and Harry have been quietly reevaluating their public personae and becoming more vocal about important matters that they otherwise would’ve been forced to stay silent on, such as racism and the current political climate. The couple even went as far as to implore Americans to vote last month during their Time 100 appearance, calling this election the most “important of our lifetime.”
“It’s time to not only reflect, but act.” This #NationalVoterRegistrationDay, join #Time100 alumni Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in taking action for the future. pic.twitter.com/JerXHxiZK3
— ABC (@ABCNetwork) September 23, 2020
While Markle hasn’t publicly said who she voted for yesterday, chances are it’s almost certainly not President Donald Trump. In 2016, the duchess called Trump “divisive” and “misogynistic” on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, while Trump recently said he’s “not a fan of hers” and wished Prince Harry “luck.”
Of course, the results from the US election are still rolling in, with the winner still too close to call.