Meghan Markle's Black Lives Matter Speech Would Have Been "Impossible" Before Her Royal Exit, Expert Says

A former royal aide says there's *no way* Meghan could have given her speech as a working royal.

  • In a graduation speech for students at her old high school this week, Meghan Markle addressed the murder of George Floyd and issued a call to action for the new grads to take action to fight back against anti-Black racism.
  • The speech was powerful and moving, but Meghan probably wouldn't have been allowed to give it before the royal exit.
  • Former royal aide Dickie Arbiter explained that senior working members of the royal family are not allowed to voice political opinions publicly.

Earlier this week, Meghan Markle delivered a powerful graduation speech for students at her former high school, Immaculate Heart High School. In her speech, Meghan addressed the murder of George Floyd and urged the new grads to take action against anti-Black racism.

The speech was powerful, moving, and incredibly important—but, just a few months ago, it might not have been possible. According to a formal royal aide, Meghan probably wouldn't have been allowed to give the speech before her and Prince Harry's royal exit.

"It would have been pretty impossible," Dickie Arbiter, Queen Elizabeth II's former press secretary, told Newsweek of the speech. "What's happened in the states is an absolute tragedy and it should never have happened but unfortunately it did happen. Had Meghan and Harry still been in the U.K. and working members of the royal family that speech couldn't have happened."

Arbiter made it clear that it wasn't a single aspect of Meghan's speech that wouldn't have been allowed if she were still a senior working royal; it was the whole thing. 

"I'm talking about the whole speech, end of. It's highly politicized because of the very nature of what it is," he explained. "And it's starting to voice opinions about the internal affairs of another country. I don't think the queen has to say anything. It is a social issue for the United States and it is not for a head of state to voice an opinion, whether the queen or the president of France or whoever."

Black Lives Matter

Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.