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Meghan is likely to focus her formidable celebrity firepower on enthusing young people in particular to make the all-important trip to the polls.
Intriguingly, sources would not be drawn on whether Meghan will or will not publicly endorse Joe Biden or criticize Donald Trump. However their unwillingness to rule either out suggests Meghan, who criticized Trump in forceful terms before she met Prince Harry, could yet be pondering the option of making a bombshell partisan intervention in the American presidential race.
The friend said she will, however, be using her influence to urge “young people to engage in and use their civic power, to use their voices, to advocate on issues they care about,” in the run up to the election.
The fresh insight into the couple’s increasingly overtly political—in the broadest sense of the word—public stance, came after a week which saw Meghan deliver her most activist speech yet, telling teenage attendees at the U.N.’s Girl Up conference that world leaders were not listening to young people fighting against climate change and racial injustice, and saying that young people were “setting the tone for an equitable humanity.”
In a pre-recorded message filmed in her Hollywood home, Meghan urged girls to “drown out” negative voices even when they were “painfully loud.”
Her remarks echoed the sentiments she expressed in a speech to graduating students at her old high school last month, when she urged pupils: “You’re going to use your voice in a stronger way than you have ever been able to because most of you are 18—or you’re going to turn 18—so you’re going to vote.”
The source said that going forward Meghan is likely to continue to support the racial justice movement, as well as women and girls’ equality movements—and underline again the importance of voting for young people.
Indeed, it is the focus on encouraging participation in the November election which is likely to prove most controversial, especially given Meghan’s well-known views on Trump (before she had met Harry, in the run-up to the 2016 election, Meghan called Trump “divisive” and “misogynistic” and said she might move to Canada if her were elected. Trump called her “nasty.”)
While urging people to use their vote is not exactly a controversial position, the freedom to speak out on an issue like this is one of the most important dividends of her and Harry’s decisive split with the royal family.
As a British princess, even one of American birth, there is no way Meghan could have got involved, however tangentially or non-controversially, in any commentary around a “foreign” election.
Harry and Meghan have, however, made it clear in recent days that they no longer consider themselves in any way bound by the conventions of the royal family they left at the beginning of the year, despite having agreed to effectively not embarrass the Queen in their terms of departure.
Just last week, for example, Harry criticized the Queen’s beloved Commonwealth—a loose grouping of Anglophile nations, many of which were once colonial possessions of the crown.
During a video call with some youth leaders from their home in Los Angeles, the couple appeared to take a swipe at the Commonwealth’s racial history.
Harry said: “When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past. So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more to do.”
Meghan remarked: “We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this.”
The critical intervention caught the palace by surprise, and was all the more remarkable because Harry and Meghan retained their positions as president and vice-president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, a youth grouping within the organization.
Sources have previously told The Daily Beast that Meghan was consistently infuriated by being told that she was not allowed to voice or express opinions as a royal. Indeed, Meghan’s frustration at her silencing in another context—the right of reply to critical stories in the press—has now become a feature of her legal action against Associated Newspapers, the publishers of the Mail on Sunday.
Meghan, who is suing Associated for invasion of privacy and breach of copyright over a private letter to her father which the paper published, said in a recent filing that when she wished to defend herself against false stories appearing in the media she was effectively banned from doing so by the palace machine, which left her feeling “unprotected.”
But could Meghan really come out for Biden?
While it might seem unlikely, Harry and Meghan have certainly shown a remarkable facility to deliver shock after shock to the expected order of things.
Having sacrificed so much to be able once again to express her opinions and to have her voice heard, it would be unwise—in this critical year for America—to bet too much against her now making the most of it.