Palace Responds to Prince Harry's Remarks on Voting, Calling Any Comments 'Personal'
"The Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family," Buckingham Palace said
Prince Harry has spoken out regarding the upcoming U.S. presidential election — and the palace is calling the comments "personal."
Harry and Meghan Markle made their first primetime TV appearance on Tuesday to celebrate TIME magazine's annual list of the world’s most influential people, using their segment to speak about the importance of voting. As a U.K. citizen, Prince Harry noted that he won't be able to vote in the upcoming election and added "many of you may not know that I haven't been able to vote in the U.K. my entire life."
"As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity," he said.
The Times reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment and were told they "would not comment." The palace added, "The Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity."
Regardless of the political party in charge in the U.K., the monarchy and Parliament must work together in order to keep things running smoothly. Therefore, the royal family — including Queen Elizabeth — does not vote or publicly express their political views.
In March, however, Meghan and Prince Harry officially stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family and relocated to the U.S. In recent months, Meghan revealed that she plans to vote in the U.S. presidential election.
Although Meghan has not said for whom she is voting, she has urged "change" and publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement. Prior to her royal life, she spoke out against President Donald Trump leading up to the 2016 election.
"Of course Trump is divisive — think about female voters alone," she said on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. "I think it was in 2012, the Republican Party lost the female vote by 12 points. That’s a huge number and as misogynistic as Trump is — and so vocal about it — that’s a huge chunk of it."
The Duchess of Sussex discussed voting rights at the "The 19th Represents" virtual summit in August, noting that Prince Harry has stayed politically neutral his whole life as part of the royal family.
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"When I have these conversations about encouraging people to go out and vote, I think it's often challenging for men and women alike and certainly for people to remember just how hard it was to get the right to vote. And to be really aware and not taking that for granted," she said. "My husband for example — he's never been able to vote."
The palace previously said that Meghan, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, had plans to become a U.K. citizen (which is known to be a lengthy process) after marrying Prince Harry in 2018. However, the couple returned to her home state earlier this year with their 1-year-old son, Archie.