Meghan Markle’s efforts to help get out the vote have riled up critics back in the U.K.
Last Thursday, the former actress took part in a virtual “When All Women Vote” event for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote initiative, during which she urged women to mobilize and spoke out against complacency.
“At this juncture, if we aren’t part of the solution, we’re part of the problem,” the duchess said. “If you’re complacent, you’re complicit. We can make the difference in this election. And we will make the difference in this election.”
“We vote to honor those who came before us and to protect those who will come after us.”— When We All Vote (@WhenWeAllVote) August 21, 2020
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, joined our #CouchParty with @samanthabarry, @ValerieJarrett, @YNB, @djdiamondkuts, and @angiemartinez for an inspiring night of strong women ✨👏 pic.twitter.com/p2h7sWcJrB
As a U.S. citizen now living back in California following her and husband Prince Harry’s break from their senior royal duties earlier this year, Meghan has been vocal about her intentions to vote in the upcoming presidential election, though she has so far stopped short of endorsing a particular candidate. But her outspokenness about hitting the ballot box has already angered royalists who say it’s inappropriate in light of her duchess status. Though not strictly against the law, it is considered “unconstitutional” for a British monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) to vote, while members of the royal family have historically followed her lead and remained apolitical.
As such, Meghan’s passion for exercising her rights to vote have rankled critics like talk show host and longtime detractor Piers Morgan, who responded to her remarks by demanding that her royal titles be stripped.
“They can’t remain as royals and spout off about foreign elections in such a brazenly partisan way,” Morgan, one of the duchess’s most vocal critics, fumed on Twitter.
The Queen must strip the Sussexes of their titles. They can’t remain as royals & spout off about foreign elections in such a brazenly partisan way. https://t.co/6uZ3FTbjHW— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 21, 2020
Morgan’s complaint prompted a four-letter response from Bette Midler, who tweeted, “Oh f*** off.” Writer and TV creator David Simon of The Wire also came to Meghan’s defense, telling Morgan, “It’s her country. It’s a moral stand. F*** your royal a**kissery. F*** your rule book.”
To this, Morgan replied, “Pipe down you silly man. If Ms Markle wants to make a real moral stand, I suggest she gives up her Duchess title, and her father-in-law’s money, and stands on her own two feet. Her shocking disrespect for the Queen & the Monarchy, and the royal ‘rule book,’ is outrageous.”
He went on to call Simon a “disrespectful little twerp.”
The ‘old broad’ is Her Majesty The Queen, you disrespectful little twerp. She’s been on the throne, serving the British people with dutiful dignity, class & empathy, for longer than you’ve been alive. So stick your impertinent Baltimore braggadocio where the sun don’t shine. https://t.co/V3HxW2ad2A— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 23, 2020
Jameela Jamil also stood up for Meghan, replying to a tweet from Dan Wootton in which the executive editor of Britain’s Sun tabloid accused her of “actively campaigning against Donald Trump” and called the former Suits star “completely inappropriate.” (The duchess is embroiled in a lawsuit against the owners of The Sun.)
Extraordinary! Meghan now actively campaigning against Donald Trump.— Dan Wootton (@danwootton) August 21, 2020
Completely inappropriate and a massive diplomatic embarrassment for the Queen and British Royal Family, whose entire success and longevity is based on staying out of party politics. https://t.co/FfRm1Vlfn7
Jamil retorted that the royals would “be more embarrassed” by Prince Andrew’s entanglement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal than “an American supporting women voting in her own country, and loosely referencing the importance of general democracy which is being threatened here currently.”
In a follow-up tweet, the British actress called Meghan a “terrifying threat to patriarchy” who was subject of more criticism because of her race.
Because she’s not white. And because she’s smart, strong, opinionated, rebellious, beautiful, happy and has everything they never will. She’s a terrifying threat to patriarchy because she doesn’t fit the stereotype for women. They discredit her because they can’t kill her.— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) August 22, 2020
During her appearance at the “When All Women Vote” event, Meghan also reflected on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, and its limitations.
“This week we are recognizing the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which of course gave women the right to vote, but not all women,” she noted. “And specifically not women of color. As we look at things today, though it had taken decades longer for women to get the right to vote, even today we are watching so many women in different communities, who are marginalized, still struggling to see that right to come to fruition. It’s just simply not OK.”
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