UK Govt Called On to Strip Harry & Meghan of Royal Titles for US 'Election Meddling'
Republican congressman accuses couple of 'interfering' in the upcoming American election
A U.S. congressman has called on the UK government to strip Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of their royal titles over allegations they have been "interfering" in the upcoming presidential election.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently caused outrage when they called on the American public to vote against President Donald Trump in a video message.
Meghan called the presidential race the "most important election of our lifetime."
The move prompted an angry reposne in the U.S., with President Trump declaring during a press conference that he's "not a fan" of Meghan's.
Now a Republican lawmaker is demanding the British government ask the Queen to strip the pair of their royal titles, claiming they are using their status to influence American voters.
Congressman Jason Smith of Missouri will send a letter making the request to British Ambassador to the United States Karen Pierce on Friday afternoon, according to The Daily Mail.
In remarks made on the election at the end of September, as some states had begun their early voting, Prince Harry urged people to "reject hate speech" while Meghan called November 3 the "most important election of our lifetime."
Their words made waves on both sides of the Atlantic and were seen as anti-Donald Trump, including by the president himself.
Smith points out that the British Royal family has a long tradition of staying politically neutral and notes the United States has expressed concern about foreign interference in its elections.
"As you know, the British Royal Family has long observed a policy of strict neutrality in regard to political matters," he writes in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Mail.
"I am therefore concerned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's recent comments regarding the United States Presidential Election, especially given international conversations surrounding foreign interference in our elections and the Duke's status as a guest of the United States."
The Queen controls Harry and Meghan's titles but acts on the advice of the government - meaning it would be up to her to act against the couple, but that if the prime minister, Boris Johnson, were to ask her to do it, she would have to at least consider the request.
Smith called their actions "a serious breach of the British Royal Family's policy of political neutrality and an inappropriate act of domestic interference by one of our closest allies."
The four-term congressman said even though the comments were made as private citizens, the fact the couple uses their titles confers the impression the statements came from the Royal Family and gives the words additional weight with voters.
"It is my view the titles and privileges they retain by permission of Her Majesty the Queen, given with the advice and consent of her government, prevent the Duke and Duchess from separating comments made in a personal capacity from their official position within the British Royal Family," he wrote.
Smith said it effectively means the British Royal Family is interfering in the American election.
"Therefore, by allowing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to retain their titles, and these political comments to continue, the British Government is effectively condoning interference in the 2020 United States Presidential Election from officials at the highest level of the British establishment," he wrote.
He asked that the Duke and Duchess stop making such comments or that the Queen strip them of their titles.
"I respectfully request the British Government ensure The Duke and Duchess of Sussex no longer attempt to interfere in our election or be stripped of all titles, styles, and privileges which they currently retain," he wrote.
"I respectfully request you convey these concerns to both Her Majesty The Queen and to Her Majesty's Government."