Meghan Markle Broke Royal Protocol In A Very American Way

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, first stepped down as working members of the British Royal Family and moved to California in 2020, there was wide speculation as to how many traditions and "royal rules" the couple would follow, even on the other side of the pond. This week, Meghan made it clear for the second time since her move back to the U.S. that there is at least one royal tradition she is happy to break with: the tradition of royal family members staying out of politics by not voting (via People).

During the American presidential election of 2020, Meghan Markle proudly voted, and she and Harry publicly urged other Americans to do their civic duty and cast their ballots in what the couple called the "most important election of our lifetime." 

This week, Meghan very publicly used her right as an American citizen to vote in the midterm elections, and she proudly posted a photo of herself wearing her "I voted sticker" to social media, urging others to follow suit (via The Mirror).  

The caption under the photo read, "Today is Election Day in the US! Time to get out and vote!" Meghan and Harry also used their Archwell site to share a text service number that offered to help people find their respective polling places, saying, "Text ARCHEWELL to 26797 to find your polling location and make sure you are ready to vote." 

Why it's uncommon for royals to vote

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is the first modern royal to vote in an election, and certainly the first to do it twice (via The Mirror). The reason it has long been a no-no for members of the royal family to cast ballots even though they are legally allowed to is that royals are supposed to remain politically neutral. The late Queen Elizabeth II, for instance, did not vote in elections in the U.K. because, as the official royal website explains, "As head of state the Queen has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters." 

Her heir and Prince Harry's father, the current King Charles III, is expected to follow in his mother's footsteps by remaining visibly politically neutral and refraining from voting in elections. It is clear, however, that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have no such qualms with becoming conspicuously involved in politics, especially American politics.