Missouri Congressman Requests Queen Elizabeth Strip Prince Harry, Meghan Markle of Royal Titles for Comments on Upcoming Election

Missouri Congressman Jason Smith sent a letter to Queen Elizabeth II requesting that she strip Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of their royal titles following a video of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex urging Americans to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

In a tweet on Friday, Smith shared the letter he sent to the queen with the caption: "Prince Harry and Megan Markle are using foreign titles to campaign against President Trump and interfere with our election. Today, I asked the British Government to put a stop to it."

"It is my view the titles and privileges they retain by permission of Her Majesty the Queen, given with the advice and consent of her government, prevent the Duke and Duchess from separating comments made in a personal capacity from their official position within the British Royal Family," the letter reads. "Therefore, by allowing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to retain their titles, and these political comments to continue, the British Government is effectively condoning interference in the 2020 United States Presidential Election from officials at the highest level of the British establishment."

The video in question, which aired as part of a September 22 TV special honoring Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people, featured the duke and duchess urging people to vote in the November 3 election. Markle said it is "the most important election of our lifetime."

"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 ourselves in someone else's shoes," said Prince Harry in the video. "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," he added. He noted that, unlike U.S.-born Markle, he is unable to vote in the upcoming election since he is not an American citizen, but still advocates for voter participation.

The duke and duchess were careful not to endorse either candidate, but many—including Smith—interpreted their statements as an endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at the University of Chichester's Engineering and Digital Technology Park during an official visit to Sussex, in the U.K. on October 3, 2018. In a video, the duke and duchess were careful not to endorse either candidate, but many—including Smith—interpreted their statements as an endorsement of Joe Biden. Samir Hussein/Getty

The couple stepped down as senior members of the British royal family earlier this year. Despite the end of their official royal duties, they still maintain their royal titles as Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

According to constitutional tradition, the British royal family is barred from getting involved in British politics, and they tend to maintain political impartiality internationally. However, past comments made by Markle in a 2016 TV interview calling Trump "divisive" and "misogynistic" have led people to believe that she does not back the president.

In reference to the video and Markle's "thinly disguised" political opinion, Smith said it represents "a serious breach of the British Royal Family's policy of political neutrality and an inappropriate act of domestic interference by one of our closest allies."

At a White House briefing, Daily Mail reporter Nikki Schwab asked Trump about his reaction toward the video message, framing the question to suggest that the couple actively encouraged people to vote for Biden.

Trump replied, "I'm not a fan of hers, and I would say this—and she probably has heard that—but, I wish a lot of luck to Harry, because he's going to need it."

Missouri Congressman Requests Queen Elizabeth Strip Prince Harry, Meghan Markle of Royal Titles for Comments on Upcoming Election | News