LONDON – Prince Harry and his wife Meghan appeared in a video urging Americans to vote and delved into United States politics as members of the royal family usually avoid.
The video statement, produced as part of a Time Magazine feature that aired Tuesday night on ABC, was barely partial by the fire-and-brimstone standards of the era. The couple, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, did not support candidates, and the main focus was on building compassion and better discussion.
But Meghan, a U.S. citizen who has announced that she will vote in the November presidential election, made it clear that she believed a lot is at stake this year.
“We are told the same thing every four years: this is the most important choice of our life,” she said. “But that’s one. When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you are important because you do and deserve to be heard. “
Prince Harry added, “As we approach this November, it is important that we avoid hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”
Traditionally, members of the royal family are expected to stay out of politics at home and abroad. The couple, who gave up royal duties in January and now reside in California, have openly expressed an interest in the U.S. presidential election and the importance of voting, but have stopped supporting a candidate.
In August, Meghan said those who didn’t vote would be “complicit” in his outcome. The comments sparked some in the UK press calling for the couple to be stripped of their royal titles.
A similar reaction in parts of the UK press followed the couple’s comments on Tuesday, with some reports accusing the couple of “going against royal protocol”.
A spokesman for the couple, James Holt, said Prince Harry was “not talking about a candidate or party, he was talking about the tone of the debate – especially online.”
“It was a call to decency and respect and a call to people to think about how to access information to stay updated,” he said. “This is a subject that he has been talking about for a while.”
There is also a precedent for a member of the royal family to encourage voting: Queen Elizabeth II. Made such comments about voters in Wales in 2003.
In September, the couple signed a contract with Netflix to create documentaries, documentary series, feature films, screenplay shows and children’s programming. They agreed to forego public funding of their activities when they parted ways with royal duties, and in September repaid £ 2.4 million or $ 3.2 million in taxpayers’ money that they had used for the renovation had used their residence in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The video was released on National Voter Registration Day, an impartial drive in which a variety of celebrities, organizations, and technology platforms encouraged Americans to register. Registration numbers have fallen across the country, partly because the coronavirus pandemic has made organizing personal events difficult or impossible.