Meghan Markle says 'I know what it's like to feel voiceless' as she encourages women to vote in presidential election

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
JJOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 02: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gives a speech as she visits the British High Commissioner's residence to attend an afternoon reception to celebrate the UK and South Africa’s important business and investment relationship, looking ahead to the Africa Investment Summit the UK will host in 2020. This is part of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal tour to South Africa. on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duchess of Sussex (pictured in 2019) said she knows what it's like to feel voiceless. She has encouraged women to vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. (WireImage)

Meghan Markle has said she knows “what it’s like to feel voiceless” as she encouraged young women to vote in the 2020 presidential election in the US.

Meghan, 39, joined 99 influential other women for a piece explaining why they would be voting when the nation goes to the polls in November.

Her comment for Marie Claire, which was released the same day as new royal biography, Finding Freedom, about her and Prince Harry, began with the words: “I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless”.

It continued: “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 make all of our voices heard.

“One of my favourite quotes, and one that my husband and I have referred to often, is from Kate Sheppard, a leader of 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’s why I vote.”

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex join New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (R) on a visit to Pillars, a charity operating across New Zealand that supports children who have a parent in prison by providing special mentoring schemes, in Manukau City in Auckland on October 30, 2018. - Meghan Markle displayed an unexpected talent for "welly wanging" in Auckland on October 30, gaining bragging rights over husband Prince Harry after they competed in the oddball New Zealand sport. (Photo by JASON DORDAY / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JASON DORDAY/AFP via Getty Images)
Meghan shared in the article a favourite quote from New Zealand's most famous suffragist, Kate Sheppard. The couple are pictured here with the country's PM Jacinda Ardern (Getty Images)

Read more: International Women's Day: The Royal Family's most feminist moments

Others quoted in the piece include Meghan’s friend Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, and Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer.

By convention, the Queen does not vote, though all members of the Royal Family would have the same voting rights as others citizens in the UK.

Meghan spoke about voting and the women’s suffrage movement in New Zealand when she was a working royal, saying: “Women’s suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of all people, including those members of society who have been marginalized whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation, to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community.”

She’s previously spoken about her feminist values too.

Read more: Meghan Markle turns 39: Read some of her best feminist quotes

All Royal Family members are expected to remain political neutral, but this does not necessarily mean they can’t encourage others to take part in democracy.

Meghan’s comment makes no reference of who people should vote for.

However she has been known to be anti-Donald Trump. Before she became a royal, and in the same year as she met Harry, she referred to him as “divisive” and “misogynistic”.

She is also reported to have “rolled her eyes” when Trump tweeted that the US would not be paying for the couple’s security when they moved to California in March, according to biography Finding Freedom.