Millions of Americans are heading to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6 to cast their votes in the crucial midterm elections, but as a new member of the British Royal family, is Meghan Markle allowed to carry out her civic duty in the U.S.?
The newly minted Duchess of Sussex is currently in the years-long process of applying for British citizenship, meaning that she is still an American citizen and therefore can vote by absentee ballot, though it may be something that would be frowned upon.
As a senior member of the Royal Family, she would typically be expected to follow in the Queen’s footsteps and not cast a ballot in order to remain “strictly neutral with respect to political matters.” That being said, Kensington Palace doesn’t seem privy to confirm or deny whether or not Markle has exercised her right, telling PEOPLE “no comment” when asked.
Prior to becoming a British Royal, the Suits alum had been vocal about the necessity to vote, speaking out about its importance in a November 2016 post on her former lifestyle blog, The Tig, titled “Because You Must.”
“The right to vote is something for which blood, sweat, and tears have been shed; the struggle was endless for us to have this liberty,” she wrote. “I ticked the boxes on my absentee ballot last week, closing my eyes and thinking of my great grandparents who didn’t have this right (and thinking of how it would have changed the lives of my grandparents if they had). So on this day we urge you to exercise said right. Please vote. The fact that we can makes us the lucky ones.”
Markle seemed to echo those sentiments in a speech given during the final leg of her first international tour, in which she celebrated the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand.0comments
“Yes, women's suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness,” she said. “Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents. The basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community. The involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world you are a part of."
Although it remains to be seen whether or not the Duchess will choose to exercise his or her right to vote in the elections, her baby on the way could possibly dip his or her toes in American politics. While the little prince or princess will be seventh in line to the British throne, they could also run for U.S. President given the fact that the child will likely have dual U.S.-U.K. citizenship.