Meghan Markle ‘voted early by mail in the 2020 presidential election’ and will ‘eagerly await’ the results at home in the $14.5 million Santa Barbara mansion she shares with Prince Harry, sources have revealed.
The reports come just weeks after Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, prompted furious backlash when they weighed in on the election – breaking with centuries-old tradition that calls for members of the Royal Family to remain politically neutral.
However, while Harry is unable to take part in the election because he is not a US citizen, Meghan couldn’t wait to cast her vote, which she did via mail-in ballot, a source told the New York Post.
Taking part: Meghan Markle ‘voted early by mail in the 2020 presidential election’ a source has claimed, weeks after she and Prince Harry came under fire for publicly wading into politics
Upset: Harry and Meghan prompted furious backlash when they spoke out about the election in a Time 100 video (pictured), despite royals being expected to remain politically neutral
That same source also claimed that Meghan – who has made her political ambitions increasingly clear over the past few months while taking part in numerous virtual summits and Zoom conferences – would not have let anything stop her from voting in this election, insisting that she’d have cast her ballot even if she and Harry had still been living in the UK.
‘Meghan was an American long before she was a royal,’ the unnamed source said. ‘She wouldn’t miss voting in this election no matter where she was living.’
Harry may not be able to actually vote in the election, but one source close to the couple, who re-located to California with their son Archie earlier this year, said that both he and Meghan have taken a ‘keen interest’ in the events leading up to it.
‘They have taken a keen interest in this election and I’m sure they are eagerly awaiting the outcome,’ a ‘friend’ told People.
Although Meghan is not officially a royal, having lost her status as a senior member of The Firm when she and Harry chose to step away from their duties at the start of the year, she is the first person with such close attachment to the monarchy to take part in a US election in modern history.
The Duchess of Sussex first confirmed her plan to vote in the election back in August during an interview with Marie Claire.
Meghan, who was born in Los Angeles and is likely to have voted in the state of California, spoke about the importance of voting, and shared a poignant quote from New Zealand’s most famous suffragist leader Kate Sheppard, revealing that both she and husband Prince Harry ‘have referred to [her words] often’ for inspiration and guidance.
‘I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless,’ Meghan said. ‘I also know that so many men and women have put their lives on the line for us to be heard.
Taking cover: Another source told People that Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, are planning to watch the election results at home in their $14.5 million Santa Barbara mansion
‘And that opportunity, that fundamental right, is in our ability to exercise our right to vote and to make all of our voices heard.’
Since then, Meghan has spoken about the election and the importance of voting at great length, having reportedly grown ‘frustrated’ at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal.
Her political opinions have also been echoed by her husband in a move that sparked fury among some, who criticized the British royal for weighing in on US politics.
In September, the couple recorded a video message for Times 100 urging Americans to vote, while hinting that they both support Democrat Joe Biden.
The Duke urged people to ‘reject hate speech’ while the Duchess called it the ‘most important election of our lifetime’ in remarks which made waves on both sides of the Atlantic.
Criticism: Before marrying Harry, Meghan was outspoken about her dislike for President Donald Trump, branding him ‘misogynistic’ and ‘divisive’ in a 2016 interview after he won the election
Although sources close to the pair denied that they were publicly throwing their weight behind any one candidate, royal insiders the world over voiced concern about their decision to speak about politics at all – particularly because the Queen and her family are expected to remain politically neutral at all times.
Buckingham Palace also distanced itself from Harry’s remarks by saying that ‘the Duke is not a working member of the royal family’ and describing his comments as ‘made in a personal capacity’.
Meghan’s increasingly public stance on politics will come as no surprise to those closest to her – particularly after it was revealed by a royal source in January that she was aiming to become more ‘politically engaged’ after she and Prince Harry quit their roles as senior royals at the start of the year.
At the time, an insider told the Daily Mail that Meghan had grown ‘frustrated’ by the fact that she was not able to be actively involved in politics while she was a senior member of the monarchy, and that she wanted to ‘take advantage’ of the freedom to share her opinions with the world.
Before marrying Prince Harry, the Duchess was incredibly outspoken about her dislike of President Donald Trump, branding him ‘misogynistic’ and ‘divisive’ during a talk appearance in 2016, shortly after he had won the election.
When Trump made an official state visit to the UK in June 2019, Meghan did not join the other royals in meeting him – a move that some royal sources claimed was her way of showing her disapproval of the President, although officially, her absence was blamed on the fact that she was still on maternity leave.
However, it was revealed in November 2019 that Meghan had invited Hillary Clinton to visit her and baby Archie at Frogmore Cottage – the family’s home in the UK – where the two women were said to have enjoyed a ‘very warm, sweet’ meeting.