"When we vote, our values are put into action," Meghan said on ABC's TIME100 special alongside Prince Harry

By Stephanie Petit and Michelle Tauber
September 22, 2020 10:00 PM
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
| Credit: ABC

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are on primetime — and encouraging Americans to make their voices heard.

The couple appeared on ABC Tuesday night in their first primetime TV appearance to celebrate TIME magazine's annual list of the world’s most influential people. Though the Sussexes have made many virtual appearances amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the TIME100 special will be their first joint television appearance since stepping away from royal life.

"We're six weeks out from the election, and today is Voter Registration Day," Meghan said on the special. "Every four years, we're told, 'This is the most important election of our lifetime.' But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action, and our voices are heard."

Harry also made a nonpartisan appeal for how people engage with each other online in the run-up to the November 3 general election.

"As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity. What we consume, what we are exposed to, and what we engage with online, has a real effect on all of us."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on ABC Tuesday night
| Credit: ABC

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no strangers to the TIME100 list — in fact, both Meghan and Harry were named as TIME's most influential people of 2018. (Meghan also made the shortlist for TIME's annual Person of the Year in 2018.) And last year, TIME recognized the couple in their roundup of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet.

In her remarks, Meghan also encouraged the public to "honor those who gave us courage this year. Like the scientists, researchers and medical professionals who are leading the fight against COVID-19. Or the countless voices who are speaking out with passion and purpose against injustice and inequality and to those silently marching in solidarity, in peaceful protest to stand for what is just and what is right."

Meghan, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, moved to Los Angeles with 1-year-old son Archie in March after stepping down from their senior royal roles. They recently bought a home in Santa Barbara, about 95 miles north of L.A. Now, the couple are starting their behind-the-scenes careers in the TV industry after signing a multi-year deal with Netflix.

They said in a statement when the deal was announced: "Our lives, both independent of each other, and as a couple have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience, and the need for connection. Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope."

"As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens," the couple added. "We are pleased to work with Ted and the team at Netflix whose unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Chris Jackson/- WPA Pool/Getty

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Prince Harry and Meghan signed with the New York-based Harry Walker Agency earlier this year.  The agency also represents Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem and Jane Goodall — who are friends with the couple — in addition to Michelle and Barack Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Alex Rodriguez, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tina Fey.