The Duchess of Sussex is no stranger to political discourse, standing up for her candidates over the years and encouraging fans to vote – but with the Royal Family’s famously apolitical stance, all that could change now that she’s married Prince Harry and officially joined ‘the firm.’ With Tuesday’s (Nov. 6) midterm election vote in the United States, fans of the former actress are wondering if she’ll exercise the right for which she’s long been vocal by casting an absentee ballot.
Duchess Meghan has been adamant about the importance of voting. Before she shut down her popular lifestyle blog, The Tig, she wrote a poignant post titled “Because We Must,” passionately explaining why exercising the right to vote is so important: “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,” she wrote while living in Toronto and filming Suits.
"Bravo New Zealand for championing the right of women to vote 125 years ago." — The Duchess of Sussex, as she and The Duke joined PM @JacindaArdern and @GovGeneralNZ Dame Patsy Reddy to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand. #RoyalVisitNZpic.twitter.com/zpFhyPiE8r— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 28, 2018
Her post continued: “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). So, on this day we urge you to exercise said right. Please vote. The fact that we can makes us the lucky ones.” Back in 2016, during one of the most polarizing elections in America, Meghan denounced Donald Trump as “misogynistic” and “divisive” while appearing on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, following that up with a photo in support of Hillary Clinton posted to her now-defunct Instagram and the hashtag #ImWithHer.
This time, however, it’s likely that she won’t be casting a vote at all, given that members of the Royal Family are encouraged to remain nonpartisan and neutral when it comes to politics. The Queen doesn’t vote, as she has to remain “neutral with respect to political matters,” according to the family’s official website. Senior members, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles, also forfeit their right to vote, but make clear their beliefs through their various patronages supporting everything from wildlife conservation to youth mental health.
Fans of Meghan and her strong beliefs and convictions shouldn’t be too concerned, though – the mom-to-be is working hard to inspire others in different ways. While on her first overseas royal tour with Prince Harry, the 37-year-old made three speeches, two of which touched heavily on the importance of supporting women and girls, including their right to vote. She was in New Zealand to support the country’s 125 th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
"Yes, women's suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness,” she 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 you are a part of."