Royal Family Turns its Back on Harry & Meghan Over Anti-Trump Election Message
Buckingham Palace responds: 'They're no longer working members of the Royal Family'
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly angered the British Royal Family by urging Americans to vote against President Donald Trump in the upcoming November election.
Buckingham Palace has turned its back on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following the video message in which they "told Americans to vote out Trump."
In a stinging response to the couple, a Palace spokesman refused to comment on the situation, arguing that it will not respond to remarks from someone who is "not a working member of the Royal Family."
It comes after Royal insiders said the Harry and Meghan "crossed a line" by speaking out about the US presidential election on November 3.
Meghan called the presidential race the "most important election of our lifetime."
Harry admitted he was not eligible to vote - adding that he had never voted in the UK either where convention dictates that royals keep well clear of politics.
While Harry and Meghan did not name their favored candidate, many viewers thought it "obvious" they were backing Joe Biden over Donald Trump - although a source close to Harry denied this, according to The Daily Mail.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "We would not comment.
"The Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity."
Royal experts told the Mail that the couple should give up their titles and sever their links to the monarchy for good if they wanted to comment on US politics, while insiders told the Times palace aides would be concerned about their intervention.
MailOnline editor-at-large Piers Morgan said: "Prince Harry poking his woke nose into the US election and effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump is completely unacceptable behavior for a member of the Royal Family."
Former Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, the author of the book And What Do You Do? What The Royal Family Don't Want You To Know, said Harry should not speak out about US politics while he is still a "representative" of the UK.
"I think it's appropriate for any private citizen to comment on the US election," Baker said.
"The problem is that Harry has retained his HRH status and is not a private citizen but still a representative of this country.
"He needs to stop trying to have a foot in both camps - royal when it suits him and private when it doesn't.
"Or to turn on its head the old phrase, I agree with what he says but disagree with his right to say it."
A former palace adviser told The Times that Harry and Meghan's comments were likely to cause 'concern' among royal aides.
"The political arena is very sensitive for all members of the royal family," they said.
"You cannot have an apolitical institution, which is what a hereditary monarchy is, and have members of the royal family making even slightly political comments.
"Courtiers would be extremely concerned that if they are going to continue to comment on what could be the most contentious US presidential election in living memory, how difficult could that get?"
Another source in palace circles said the couple had "crossed a line" with their intervention on Tuesday.
During a Wednesday press conference, President Trump was asked for a response to the couple's comments.
"I'm not a fan of her's," the president said.
"I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he's going to need it," he added.
Reporter: "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chimed in on the U.S. election and essentially encouraging people to vote for Joe Biden. I wanted to get your reaction to that."— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 23, 2020
Trump: "I'm not a fan of hers...I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he's going to need it." pic.twitter.com/AqO0ORI1jB
Harry and Meghan spoke in a video clip which was broadcast as part of TIME's publication of its annual list of the world's 100 most influential people.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were included in the 2018 list, but not in this year's edition.
"We're just six weeks out from Election Day and today is National Voter Registration Day," said Meghan, 39.
"Every four years we are told the same thing, that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But this one is," she said.
"When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard.
"Your voice is a reminder that you matter, because you do and you deserve to be heard."
For his part, Harry said: "As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity."
Harry urged Americans to be careful about what kind of content they consume online.
"When the bad outweighs the good, for many, whether we realize it or not, it erodes our ability to have compassion and our ability to put ourself in someone else's shoes," he said.
"Because when one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially.
"It's time to not only reflect, but act."
If Harry and Meghan want to become political campaigners for the Democratic party that is their choice, but they MUST renounce their royal titles immediately before further damage is done to the monarchy. pic.twitter.com/aSviTvhm4U— Dan Wootton (@danwootton) September 23, 2020
Harry also referenced the fact that, because he is not a US citizen, he will not be able to vote in November.
Although British law does not explicitly forbid members of the Royal Family from voting, the expectation that royals remain apolitical is considered sacrosanct, and in practice they never participate in elections, by voting or otherwise.
Before marrying Prince Harry in 2018, Markle was no stranger to politics, ridiculing then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during a 2016 appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.
She said Trump was "misogynistic and divisive" and indicated her support for Hillary Clinton.
Harry is a friend of former President Barack Obama, interviewing him on a guest-edited episode of BBC Radio 4's Today Programme in 2017.
"Part of my role and part of my job is to shine a spotlight on issues that need that spotlight, whether it's people, whether it's causes, issues, whatever it is," Harry said at the time.
"So I will continue to play my part in society and do my job to the best of my abilities so that I can wake up in the morning and feel energised."
Despite the Obama friendship, the couple avoided a constitutional row by inviting neither the Obamas nor the Trumps to their 2018 wedding at Windsor Castle.