She's breaking royal tradition to be politically active.

Caroline Goldstein
August 12, 2020
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Chris Jackson, Getty Images

August 2020 marks the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. It also marks the three-month run-up to what is quite possibly the most crucial U.S. presidential election in recent history (or history period, for that matter). Obviously, exercising the right to vote—now and always—is one of our most precious civic privileges as Americans, as Meghan Markle (yup, she’s still an American!) recently expressed to Marie Claire.

In the magazine, Markle and 99 other celebrity women shared why they’re voting in the upcoming election. For Markle, that reason stems from her understanding of how important it is for our individual voices to be heard, and counted.

"I know what it's like to have a voice, and also what it's like to feel voiceless," Markle told Marie Claire.

"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 to make all of our voices heard," she added.

Of course, Markle didn’t explicitly mention her personal experience with “feeling voiceless,” but the Duchess of Sussex’s struggles to transition into (and out of) the royal family have been widely publicized. Recently, court documents from Markle’s legal battle with British tabloid The Daily Mail revealed that she felt “unprotected” by the royal family during her pregnancy, as she was “prohibited from defending herself” from the media’s bullying and intrusive presence.

And in terms of the election, it seems that Markle is taking a “royal habits be damned” approach: Historically, members of the British royal family have opted out of voting in political elections, in keeping with the crown’s duty to “remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters.”

In Marie Claire, Markle added, "One of my favorite quotes, and one that my husband [Prince Harry] and I have referred to often, is from Kate Sheppard, a leader in 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 is why I vote." 

If Meghan Markle can shirk centuries-old royal traditions in order to exercise her civic duties, you can, too. So if you haven’t registered to vote yet, do it here.