Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Break Royal Protocol, Encourage Americans To Vote

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service
Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle encouraged Americans to vote on November 3, during a TV special that aired Tuesday night, Us Magazine reported. The entry into politics marks a major break from royal protocol, as members of the British royal family are expected to remain politically neutral.

Last night, ABC aired a special, “Time100,” which celebrated the magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, two spots on the prestigious list were given to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who recently made headlines by resigning as senior members of the British monarchy and moved to the U.S.

In a clip that aired during the special, Harry and Meghan reminded viewers of the importance of voting. Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day.

“Every four years we are told the same thing: that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But this one is. 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,” Meghan said.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives to attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at Royal Albert Hall
  Simon Dawson / Getty Images

A year ago, for Harry and Meghan to even discuss voting, however obliquely, would have been an unprecedented violation of royal protocol. For centuries, the British monarchy has served as a symbol of the country, and the men and women within the family are expected to remain politically neutral.

Harry himself referenced that fact, telling viewers he wasn’t allowed to vote when he lived in the United Kingdom due to his status as a member of the royal family. Further, he also noted that he won’t be allowed to vote in this year’s election, as he’s not a U.S. citizen.

Meghan, however, can vote, and feminism advocate Gloria Steinem said recently that the duchess has embraced the fact that she is no longer bound by royal etiquette when it comes to politics.

“Meg is herself, smart, authentic, funny, political. She came home to vote,” Steinem said.

Though they didn’t specify whom they were encouraging Americans to vote for, they did make reference to factors that have defined this election, such as online misinformation, hate speech, and in particular, the divisive attitude in the country and how it plays out on social media.

“When one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially,” Harry said.

Already, the departure from royal protocol is generating criticism. As The Sun reported, some Twitter users saw the clip as a thinly-veiled attempt to convince Americans not to vote for Donald Trump.