Duchess Meghan of Sussex has another first to add to her resume: She’s the first member of the British royal family to vote for president in an American election.
The former Meghan Markle, who is an American citizen, took part in the quadrennial ritual, according to a person close to the situation but not authorized to speak publicly.
No details were released about when and where the royal duchess, 39, voted, though it may have been from home. So far, no pictures have yet emerged showing her standing in line at her local polling place near her new Southern California home in Montecito, Santa Barbara County.
But it would have been a surprise if she had not voted, given that she and husband Prince Harry, 36, spent some time prior to the Nov. 3 election urging Americans to register and vote.
Harry is a citizen of the United Kingdom so he can’t vote, but Meghan can.
She jumped feet first into the election this year, calling in via video in August to an online non-partisan voter registration drive co-chaired by former first lady Michelle Obama,whom she called “my friend.”
“It’s 75 days until the election, that is so close and yet there is so much work to be done in that time,” she said. “We all know what’s at stake, I know it and you do, too…We must do all we can to ensure all women have their voices heard…If you’re complacent, you’re complicit.”
Although she didn’t say which candidate she was backing, it was assumed, given her previous critical remarks about President Donald Trump, that she probably wouldn’t vote for him.
The U.K. tabloids, among the loudest voices in the chorus of Sussex critics, were certainly under no illusions, and lambasted both Harry and Meghan for alleged meddling in American politics, which is a no-no for royals back home.
By carrying out a civic duty, Meghan is the first member of the British royal family to cast a presidential ballot in America. Although she and Harry stepped down from their roles as senior working royals in March, and agreed to drop the use of the word “royal” in their activities, they still retain it officially, as per his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
As usual when it comes to Meghan, comparisons have been made to the former Wallis Simpson, also a divorced American, who married the former King Edward VIII in 1937 after he abdicated to wed her. The royal family was so angry at his betrayal of duty, his brother, the new King George VI, denied Wallis the title of “Her Royal Highness,” so she was never officially royal nor accepted as a member of the royal family.
This was a humiliation the couple, known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor after their marriage, never forgot and never forgave.
Even so, it’s not clear Wallis Simpson ever voted in an American election, before or after her marriage to the ex-king. After 1928, just eight years after women got the right to vote in the U.S., Wallis spent the rest of her life living in the U.K., France or the Bahamas, only occasionally returning to the U.S. to visit.