Meghan Markle has been in the spotlight more often in the past few days than at any time since she and Prince Harry stepped down from senior royal duties and moved to North America. It could all be part of a long game she is playing with presidential ambitions. A close friend of Markle told Vanity Fair this week she is interested in politics, and that is one reason why she never gave up her American citizenship when she moved to the U.K.
"One of the reasons she was so keen not to give up her American citizenship was so she had the option to go into politics," the friend said Thursday. If Markle and Harry ultimately "gave up" their royal titles, "she would seriously consider running for president," the friend told the magazine. However, others working closely with the Duchess of Sussex dismissed the idea she wants to run for political office. "While there's no denying she is interested and engaged in politics as a topic, she harbors no ambition to enter a career in politics herself," the well-placed source said.
Andrew Morton, who wrote Megan: A Hollywood Princess, told Vanity Fair Markle would be "eaten alive" if she ran for president. "You need the skin of a rhino to run for office especially in America which is an utterly polarized nation," Morton said. "Look what happened to Hillary [Clinton], and she has lived and breathed high-octane politics since college. When Piers Morgan took over from chat show host Larry King and used his show as a platform to attack the gun lobby he was shot down by his domestic audience."
The report follows the video Markle and Harry made together for TIME Magazine, which included Markle on its list of 100 most influential people in 2020. Neither of them specifically mentioned a political candidate's name, but they both stressed how important it is to vote. Markle said the upcoming election is "the most important election of our lifetime," adding, "When we vote, our values are put into action, and our voices are heard." Harry also chimed in, adding, "As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity."
It was a surprising move for a member of the royal family, which is expected to remain neutral in politics. Buckingham Palace responded to the clip by pointing out that Harry is no longer a "working member of the royal family." They described his comments as "made in a personal capacity."
Markle did criticize President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign before she became a member of the royal family. She also did not attend the U.K. state dinner with Harry and other members of the royal family when Trump visited, although she was on maternity leave at the time. "I'm not a fan of hers," Trump told reporters this week when asked about Markle and Harry's TIME video. "And I would say this — and she probably has heard that — but I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he's gonna need it."