Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hit a major milestone last night, making their first TV appearance since they stepped back from the royal family earlier this year. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined in Time 100’s special, using their time on air to congratulate the winners featured this year and to implore Americans to vote. The royal family typically avoids making political statements of any kind, so some British tabloids, unsurprisingly given their history of attacking the Sussexes, were up in arms about Harry saying anything about voting in the U.S. election.
The two first spoke about the importance of rising above the negativity online and not being part of it. “When the bad outweighs the good, for many, whether we realize it or not, it erodes our ability to have compassion and our ability to put ourself in someone else’s shoes,” Harry said. “Because when one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially. It’s time to not only reflect, but act. As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”
Then Meghan began the couple’s plea to U.S. citizens to register and vote: “Now we’re just six weeks out from Election Day, and today is National Voter Registration Day. Every four years, we are told the same thing, that ‘this is the most important election of our lifetime,'” Meghan said. “But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you matter. Because you do. And you deserve to be heard.”
Harry added, “This election, I’m not going to be able to vote here in the U.S., but many of you may not know that I haven’t been able to vote in the U.K. my entire life,” referring to the royal family’s need to stay apolitical. (While they are not banned in writing legally from voting, they are expected not to.) “As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”
“So as we work to re-imagine the world around us, let’s challenge ourselves to build communities of compassion,” Meghan continued. You can watch their full message below, seemingly shot from the backyard of their new Montecito house:
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For their appearance, Meghan wore a Victoria Beckham top with Alexander Wang trousers and Manolo Blahnik BB suede heels.
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