Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 29 October 2020

US ELECTIONS

Trump v Markle: US president wishes Prince Harry ‘good luck’ after duchess voting row

Donald Trump criticises Harry and Meghan after they urged Americans to vote

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Malala Yousafzai for International Day of the Girl, and also shared how they're spending time with son, Archie. TIME
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Malala Yousafzai for International Day of the Girl, and also shared how they're spending time with son, Archie. TIME

Donald Trump has taken a swipe at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after the royal duo urged Americans to vote in the November 3 presidential election.

Meghan, who is a US citizen, urged Americans in a Time 100 video to vote in the “most important election of our lifetime”.

Prince Harry called on Americans to “reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity”.

Neither mentioned Mr Trump or his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, but some have interpreted the comments as critical of the president.

Mr Trump singled out Meghan when asked about the video at a White House press conference.

“I’m not a fan of hers,” he said.

“And I would say this, and she has probably heard that, but I wish a lot of luck to Harry. He’s going to need it.”

A senior adviser to the Trump campaign, Corey Lewandowski, went further in his criticism of the couple.

He said: “They made Britain great again by leaving, I hope they do the same for us.”

Buckingham Palace also appeared to distance the royal family from the comments.

In a statement, the palace highlighted the fact that the duke is no longer a working royal, and said his remarks were made in a “personal capacity”.

“We would not comment," a spokesman said.

“The duke is not a working member of the royal family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity.”

The duke and duchess moved to California after quitting as senior working royals in March.

Under Britain's unwritten constitution, the royal family are expected to remain politically neutral and do not vote in elections. The Queen, 94, has rarely strayed into current affairs issues during her 68-year reign.

"This election, I'm not going to be able to vote in the US, but many of you may not know that I haven't been able to vote in the UK my entire life," Harry said in the video.

"As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity."

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, questioned the wisdom of Harry’s comments.

“I think it is understandable that Meghan, as a US citizen, is doing what she is doing to encourage people to vote in the forthcoming election, but I question the wisdom of her husband doing likewise,” Mr Little said.

“Harry is no longer a working member of the royal family but he remains a senior member of the royal family and with that comes responsibilities. It seems unlikely that he’d be making the remarks he’s been making were he still in the UK.”

Updated: September 24, 2020 03:16 PM

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