According to senior royal sources, Meghan Markle is “using her title out of context” for lobbying the U.S. government. Markle was born in the U.S., but gained her title of Duchess of Sussex after marrying Prince Harry.
Inside royal sources have expressed their unease after it was revealed that Markle called U.S. senators, and, using her title, petitioned them about paid parental leave, a policy that has been controversial in America.
Among those phoned were Republican Senators Susan Collins and Shelley Moore Capito, but she also wrote an open letter to Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer last month. A source close to Meghan, however, emphasized that she made contact with members of Congress “in her personal capacity as an engaged citizen.”
The issue, as royal sources note, is that members of the royal family are supposed to be “above politics” and remain politically neutral. “The Duchess of Sussex doesn’t have the right to have a more powerful voice [on the issue] than any other mother in America,” one courtier said. “She should not be playing in politics.”
Both Maine Sen. Collins and West Virginia Sen. Capito confirmed that Meghan had used her title in her calls to their personal cell lines. “Much to my surprise, she called me on my private line, and she introduced herself as the Duchess of Sussex, which is kind of ironic,” noted Collins. “I was happy to talk with her, but I’m more interested in what the people of Maine are telling me about it.” Capito relayed a similar sentiment: “And she goes, ‘Senator Capito?’ I said, ‘Yes?’ She said, ‘This is Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.’”
Critics of Harry and Meghan have continued their calls for the queen to take the titles from the couple. Speculation also remains that Meghan might one day run for political office in the U.S. It was reported that Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand (D-N.Y.) directed Markle to make the phone calls as part of her effort to push paid leave into the social spending bill.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MARIECLAIRE.COM
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