Meghan Markle 'has voted in US election' in Royal Family first

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·2-min read

Watch: Meghan and Harry urge Americans to vote

Meghan Markle has achieved another Royal Family first, as it was confirmed she will vote in the US presidential election.

While it’s not clear if she is planning to vote in person at a ballot box or has already sent in her vote, a source close to the Duchess of Sussex confirmed she “is voting in this election”.

This does not come as a surprise, given Meghan has thrown herself into campaigning since returning to her home state of California earlier this year.

She and her husband Prince Harry, who cannot vote in the US, have made multiple public statements encouraging Americans to vote, which has drawn some criticism on both sides of the Atlantic.

Members of the British Royal Family are not explicitly banned from voting, but avoid doing so to ensure political neutrality.

However the Queen has previously spoken about voting, encouraging Welsh voters to engage with democracy during a year of particularly low turnout in the Assembly elections.

Read more: Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle breaking royal protocol by urging Americans to vote?

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 in London, England. The Commonwealth represents 2.4 billion people and 54 countries, working in collaboration towards shared economic, environmental, social and democratic goals. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan moved to California in March after leaving their royal duties. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan moved to California, where Meghan grew up, in March. She quickly got involved in encouraging people to vote, though she was careful not to directly endorse any particular candidate.

In September, at the Time 100 event, Harry broke his silence on American politics, saying: “This election I’m not going to be able to vote here in the US.

“Many of you may not know that I haven’t been able to vote in the UK my entire life.

“As we approach this November it’s vital we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”

The prince also did not name a specific candidate or party, in his comments.

Meghan, 39, had previously called Donald Trump, the current president and Republican candidate, “divisive” and “misogynistic”, before she married Harry.

Watch: The Duchess of Sussex and Gloria Steinem in conversation

Harry and Meghan’s comments were badly received in the UK, with various polls showing a majority of respondents thought they should be stripped of their royal titles.

A YouGov poll of more than 3,000 adults in Britain found more than a quarter of people said they should keep their titles, while 25% did not know, and nearly half said they should lose them.

A Tatler poll released in September found 68% agreed Harry and Meghan should have their titles as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex taken from them after stepping down as working royals and moving to the US.

While British royals try to stay out of party politics, royals in other nations don’t always follow the same conventions. Many members of the Belgian royal family can and do vote, with only the reigning King and Queen exempt from casting a ballot.