Since she married Prince Harry back in May and officially entered into the royal family, Meghan Markle’s life has changed almost beyond recognition. She transformed from a Hollywood actress into the regal Duchess of Sussex, but it’s not just her job title that got a dramatic makeover. One of the biggest changes that Meghan has experienced over the past year now becomes more relevant and important than ever before—her activity and involvement in anything political.
Just last week, during the final few days of her first royal tour with Harry, the Duchess of Sussex delivered a speech regarding the importance of women’s right to vote. Ironically, her own right to vote in Tuesday’s pivotal midterm elections of 2018 is a somewhat confusingly grey area.
Despite being married to one of the most famously British men out there, Meghan herself is currently in the process of applying for British citizenship and, as an L.A. girl, she is technically still permitted to vote in her home country, the U.S. However, her new royal status blurs the lines of duty somewhat. As the royal family website explains, her grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, has strictly no involvement in any voting and must remain “strictly neutral with respect to political matters,” therefore being “unable to vote or stand for election.”
In general, senior members of the royal family (of which Meghan would probably be considered now) don’t usually opt to exercise their right to vote for the same reasons of neutrality. But, interestingly, the duchess’s office at Kensington Palace refused to comment on whether she had voted in the midterms. They simply told People there was “no comment" on the question.
Just last week, in her feminist speech to celebrate New Zealand’s 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the Duchess of Sussex also said: “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.”
If Meghan does have any say or choice in the matter this time, it’s likely that she will have chosen to vote, having previously posted on her former lifestyle blog, The Tig, about the importance of voting.
Back in November 2016, she wrote passionately on the topic. “The right to vote is something for which blood, sweat, and tears have been shed; the struggle was endless for us to have this liberty. I ticked the boxes on my absentee ballot last week, closing my eyes and thinking of my great grandparents who didn’t have this right (and thinking of how it would have changed the lives of my grandparents if they had),” Meghan shared. “So on this day we urge you to exercise said right. Please vote. The fact that we can makes us the lucky ones.”
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.