In the upside-down we currently live in, a racist, sexist grifter who has already proven woefully incompetent for the presidency (with increasingly tragic results) nevertheless believes he should be exempt from the democratic process and simply appointed king of America. So it only stands to reason that this imposter to the nonexistent throne would foster some irrational hatred for a biracial woman who married into actual royalty, especially when that woman has made her disdain for him a subtle art.
On Tuesday night as National Voter Registration Day came to a close, Meghan Markle and husband Prince Harry made a rare on-screen appearance in celebration of the release of the Time100, which previously honored the couple in 2018.
“Every four years we are told the same thing: that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But this one is,” Markle said during their joint remarks, which largely focused on compassion and restoring respect to our national discourse. Harry, in turn, reminded viewers he’d been unable to vote as a member of the monarchy (it is against royal protocol); despite now residing in California, as a non-American citizen, he will still be ineligible. As Time noted, this November, Markle will likely make history as the first member of the British royal family to publicly exercise the right to vote.
“When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard,” Markle continued.”Your voice is a reminder that you matter; because you do and you deserve to be heard.”
The sentiments doubled down on comments made by the duchess in August (h/t Time), in which she seemed to throw lowkey shade at both her brief tenure as a senior royal and the apathy expressed by many potential voters in 2016 and during our current electoral campaign season.
“I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless,” she said. “I also know that so many men and women have put their lives on the line for us to be heard. And that opportunity, that fundamental right, is in our ability to exercise our right to vote and to make all of our voices heard.”
While no explicit endorsement of a presidential candidate was made in either appearance, the comments were considered implicitly supportive of the Biden-Harris ticket. This is likely due to the fact that well before her marriage into the British monarchy, Markle made her feelings about Trump plain, referring to him as “misogynistic” and “divisive” during a 2016 appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. (Where is the lie?)
At the time, Trump reportedly and rather predictably referred back into his misogynistic playbook, adding Markle to his growing list of “nasty” women in response to her criticism. In June 2019, Markle no doubt further bruised the megalomaniac-in-chief’s ego when she leveraged her maternity leave to avoid meeting Trump when he met the rest of the royal family during a presidential visit to London. When he returned in December, both Markle and Prince Harry abstained from the visit (h/t Time)—though to be fair, Trump was likely least among the couple’s concerns, as they would announce their divestiture from the monarchy the following month.
But not to be outdone—and certainly not because he was ever asked or expected to—in March of this year, Trump made sure to let the world know that the U.S. government would not be funding security for the royal couple as they opted to relocate to California following their exit from England and the relinquishment of their roles as senior royals.
So, it should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that on Wednesday, when a member of the White House press corps asked for Trump’s response after Harry and Meghan “essentially encouraged people to vote for Joe Biden” (despite them specifically and strategically doing nothing of the sort), Trump had yet another denigrating retort. And because he is, in fact, a misogynist, it should be even less surprising that his insult specifically targeted the duchess.
“I’m not a fan of hers...and she probably has heard that,” Trump answered. “but I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s gonna need it.”
You know what luck we need? A new president—and no one could’ve said it better than Harry himself.
“[W]hen 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. Because when one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially. It’s time to not only reflect but act,” he told Time, later adding: “As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”
Updated: Thursday, 9/24/20, at 11:40 a.m., ET: Addressing Prince Harry’s unprecedented comments on the American electoral process and encouragement for citizens to vote—long considered a no-no by the royal family—Buckingham Palace issued the following statement, clarifying that the royal protocol no longer applies (h/t Elle):
“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.”