Is Meghan Markle allowed to vote in the midterm elections now that she's a royal?
As she powered toward the finish line of her 16-day tour Down Under last week, Meghan Markle made a passionate speech about women’s right to vote. Now, as America goes to the polls in Tuesday, November 6th’s crucial midterm elections, has the Duchess of Sussex carried out her right to vote back in the U.S.? Meghan, who is currently going through the years-long process of applying for British citizenship, can still vote in her home country.
And her speech echoed what she had written on her former lifestyle blog, The Tig, back in November 2016, when the former Suits star spoke out about the importance of voting in a post titled, “Because You Must.”
Meghan called Donald Trump “misogynistic” and “divisive” during an appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. She also posted to Instagram in support of Hillary Clinton.
But she is in a tricky position this time around. Her grandmother-in-law Queen Elizabeth doesn’t vote in elections because she has to seem impartial as head of state–and thus, to stay “strictly neutral with respect to political matters” the queen is “unable to vote or stand for election,” the royal family’s website states.
Senior members of the royal family under convention usually don’t take up their right to vote. But the duchess’s office at Kensington Palace won’t elaborate on whether she has voted in the U.S.’s midterm elections. (The official statement? “No comment.”) However, Meghan’s views on the importance of voting were clear during her speech last week to celebrate New Zealand’s 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
“The achievements of the women of New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote, and were the first in the world to achieve it, are universally admired,” she said. “In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolizes.”
“Because yes, women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness,” Meghan continued. “Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community, the involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of.”