Donald Trump has slammed Meghan Markle after she and Prince Harry urged Americans to “reject hate speech” and vote in the upcoming presidential elections. During Wednesday’s press briefing, the US President was asked about the couple’s recent video which has been seen by some as an endorsement for rival Joe Biden. He said: “I’m not a fan of hers and I would say this, and she has probably heard this, I wish a lot of luck to Harry — because he’s going to need it.”
It comes as Buckingham Palace appeared to distance itself from the Duke of Sussex’s comments advocating for people to register to vote during Tuesday’s Voter Registration Day. The Palace highlighted the fact that Harry is no longer a working royal, and said his remarks were made in a “personal capacity”. Members of the royal family traditionally do not vote or become involved in elections or political matters.
The Queen, as a constitutional head of state, is politically neutral. The monarch’s grandson said in a video for Time magazine as he sat on a bench alongside Meghan at their Californian home: “As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”
Trump, who is campaigning for re-election, has often been criticised for using inflammatory language, and in August, Facebook deleted one of his posts for the first time for violating its policy against spreading misinformation about coronavirus. Twitter began labelling Trump’s tweets with fact checks in May.
Harry and Meghan’s video did not specifically attempt to direct Americans on who to vote for. Despite this, many, including broadcaster Piers Morgan condemned the remarks, tweeting the duke was “effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump”, which he labelled “completely unacceptable behaviour” for a royal.
A source close to Harry insisted the duke was not referring to Trump nor any other individual. The 36-year-old mentioned that he would not be voting in the election due to his lack of US citizenship, adding he has never voted in UK elections because of his position. Harry quit as a senior working royal with Meghan in March in a bid for personal and financial freedom and now lives in the US, but they are still members of the royal family.
The duchess, who mocked then-Republican Candidate Trump during a 2016 television appearance, said in the video the November poll was the “most important election of our lifetime”. Meghan told lawyer and feminist activist Gloria Steinem last month she was “so excited” to see fellow biracial woman Kamala Harris selected as Democrat Joe Biden’s running mate. Ms Steinem has said the duchess came home to vote and has been cold-calling people to encourage voter participation.