Missouri Congressman Jason Smith cited concerns about foreign interference in American elections, noting that the British royal family has traditionally stayed out of politics in a letter to the British ambassador received from DailyMail.com
A Republican legislature is telling the UK government to urge the Queen to strip Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of their royal titles for interfering in the upcoming American elections, claiming they will use them to influence voters.
Missouri Congressman Jason Smith will be sending a letter to British Ambassador to the United States, Karen Pierce, Friday afternoon, DailyMail.com has revealed.
In remarks on the late September elections, when some states had started their early voting, Prince Harry urged people to "reject hate speech" while Meghan described November 3rd as the "most important choice of our lives".
Her words made waves on both sides of the Atlantic and were viewed as anti-Donald Trump, including by the President himself.
Smith notes that the British royal family has a long history of remaining politically neutral, noting that the United States has expressed concern about foreign interference in their elections.
As you know, the British royal family has long had a policy of strict neutrality in political matters. I am therefore concerned about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's recent comments on the presidential election in the United States, particularly given the international talks about foreign interference in our elections and the Duke's status as a guest of the United States, ”he wrote in the Letter a A copy of this was obtained from DailyMail.com.
The Queen controls Harry and Meghan's titles but is acting on the advice of the government – meaning it's up to her to take action against the couple, but if Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked her to do so, she would at least have the request to do so consider.
A Republican Congressman calls on the UK government to strip Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of their royal titles for interfering in the US election. The couple was spotted eating near their home in Santa Barbara this week
HARRY AND MEGHANS FULL ROYAL TITLES
Harry's full of royal titles
HRH the Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel
Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex, Countess Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel
The Queen cannot prevent Harry from being called a prince, as this is a simple statement of fact under British royalty rules that he is a prince as the son of the heir to the throne, which means that it is up to Harry himself to quit
Smith called their actions "a grave violation of the British royal family's policy of political neutrality and an inappropriate act of domestic interference by one of our closest allies".
The four-year-old congressman said even though the comments were made as private individuals, the fact that the couple are using their titles gives the impression that the statements are from the royal family and adds weight to the words with voters.
I believe that the titles and privileges which they retain with the permission of Her Majesty the Queen 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, ”he wrote.
Smith said it effectively means the British royal family is meddling in the American elections.
"By allowing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to retain their titles and continue making these political comments, the UK government is effectively condoning the interference of top-level officials in the UK establishment in the United States' 2020 presidential election," he wrote .
He asked the Duke and Duchess to stop making such comments or the Queen should withdraw their titles.
I respectfully urge the British Government to see that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex no longer seek to interfere in our election, or that they are deprived of all titles, styles and privileges that they currently hold. I respectfully ask you to convey these concerns to both Her Majesty the Queen and Her Majesty's Government, ”he wrote.
Meghan and Harry's titles are decided solely by the Queen herself. It has the power to confer – and remove – royal titles. But the Queen is acting on the advice of the British Government and if Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially informed her that it would be best to remove the titles, it would be extremely unlikely that she would refuse.
While Meghan is a US citizen and has made clear her intention to vote in California, Harry is not a citizen. His immigration status is currently unclear. As the spouse of a U.S. citizen, they can apply for a CR1 immigrant visa. This gives him two years in the US to apply for an IR1 visa, which can be converted into a green card. He may have already converted his status to a green card, although this is unlikely. Green card holders are allowed to donate to political parties, but other visa holders cannot, although this would not legally prohibit them from expressing a political opinion. First Amendment rights apply to everyone in the United States.
It is also possible that Prince Harry is in the US with a diplomatic passport because the British royal family are members of the government. To speak of politics in any way would be against diplomatic protocol.
There are other options for Harry's visa, including an O-1 visa which claims "exceptional skills" that would allow him to stay for three years but prohibits political donations or the company's yet-to-be-named production uses companies to sponsor him on one of a number of work visas.
The U.S. government treats immigration status as a private matter, while spokesmen for Harry and Meghan have never commented on its status.
In April, a source told the Sunday Times that Harry did not intend to become a citizen or permanent resident, suggesting that he would keep a visa that does not allow political donations.
But even the question of what Harry's last name would be is not entirely clear, as royals are legally referred to by their titles and do not legally record last names. The couple's son – who has no royal titles – is Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. Mountbatten-Windsor is the name of the royal house, a combination of the surname of Prince Philip and the House of Windsor. But while in the British Army, Harry called himself Harry Wales.
The Queen cannot prevent Harry from being called a prince, as this is a simple statement of fact under British royalty rules that he is a prince as the son of the heir to the throne, which means that it is up to Harry himself to stop that.
Harry remains on the throne, if only under the most unlikely circumstances. Before his brother William became a father, Harry was third in line, but he's now sixth behind Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
The last member of the royal family to lose a title was Harry's mother Diana, whose divorce lifted her Royal Highness status. She was deeply hurt by the move, and the royal family and their aides viewed the decision as a mistake due to its public popularity.
The last king to seek a new life abroad was the abdicated King Edward VIII. With his American wife Wallace Simpson. When he laid down the throne, his brother – the new king and mother of the queen – gave him the titles of HRH, Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke about the upcoming US elections in late September in a stark break with British tradition of forbidding royal participation in politics
President Donald Trump slammed Meghan Markle from the White House podium and told DailyMail.com that he was "not a fan of her". "I wish Harry the best of luck because he's going to need it."
Harry and Meghan's September comments on the election have been interpreted by some as a tactful endorsement of Democrat Joe Biden's presidential campaign.
President Donald Trump slammed Meghan from the White House podium after the couple spoke.
As is expected of British royals to stay out of politics
Under Britain's constitutional monarchy, powers that in theory belong to the Queen – such as appointing ministers and passing laws – are exercised on her behalf by political leaders.
This system means that political decisions are made by the elected government rather than by unelected kings, while maintaining the monarchy as a symbol of the British state and its traditions.
The royals' political neutrality, which the Queen has carefully observed for 68 years, is key to maintaining this balance and maintaining the monarchy's popularity.
A YouGov poll earlier this year found that both Conservative and Labor voters, as well as Brexiters and Europhiles, support the majority for maintaining the British monarchy.
The Queen's uncle, King Edward VIII, was forced to abdicate in 1936 because the government refused to support his proposed marriage to American divorced Wallis Simpson – mortally compromising his neutrality.
While there is no law specifically preventing the royal family from voting in UK elections, it would be an unacceptable violation of protocol.
The Queen has weekly talks with her Prime Ministers and has the right to “advise and warn” them if necessary, but the nature of her advice is never made public.
Even her cautious remark that voters should "think very carefully about the future" ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 was seen as an unusual intervention.
Prince Charles is known for writing long letters to ministers on political issues such as agriculture, some of which were published in 2015.
William and Kate also spoke out for the environment and last year launched an award for tackling climate change issues.
Princess Diana – who, like Harry and Meghan, distanced herself from the monarchy – was known for her campaigns against landmines, in which she allegedly described the policies of the British government as "hopeless".
Her involvement sparked criticism from some Conservative MPs, but the Labor government, which took office shortly before her death, was more favorable to her campaign.
"I'm not a fan of her," Trump said on a question from DailyMail.com. "I would say that – and she's probably heard that – I wish Harry the best of luck because he's going to need it."
At the time, royal insiders expressed concern in the UK, where the Queen and her family are expected to remain politically neutral at all times. One said Harry and Meghan had "crossed a line".
Buckingham Palace also distanced itself from Harry's remarks, saying that "the Duke is not a working member of the royal family" and describing his comments as "made in a personal capacity".
Harry and Meghan commented on a Time 100 video to mark the release of this year's list of the most influential people the royal couple is not a part of.
“As we approach this November, it is important that we avoid hate speech, misinformation and online negativity,” Harry said. In a line that some UK and US observers immediately saw as a plug for Biden and a blow to President Trump.
California-born Markle said, “We are six weeks from election and today is voter registration day.
"Every four years we are told the same thing:" This is the most important choice of our life. But that's one. When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. & # 39;
While many viewers viewed Harry and Meghan's comments as a barely disguised confirmation of Biden, a source close to Harry insisted that the Duke was not referring to Trump or anyone else.
"The Duke spoke about the tone of the debate leading up to an election that is already pretty feverish," they said.
& # 39; He's not talking about a candidate or any particular campaign. It builds on a lot of things he said before about online communities, how we interact with each other online rather than making specific political points. & # 39;
Markle told Marie Claire in August that she intended to vote in November.
"I know what it's like to have a voice and what it's like to feel voiceless," she said.
“I also know that so many men and women risked their lives so that we could be heard. And this opportunity, this fundamental right, lies in our ability to exercise our right to vote and to have all of our voices heard. & # 39;
In the video message, which appeared to be filmed from their California home, Harry admitted he was not eligible to vote – adding that he had never voted in the UK either, where convention dictates that royals stay out of politics.
Although British law does not specifically prohibit members of the royal family from voting, the expectation that royals remain apolitical is considered sacrosanct and, in practice, they never participate in elections, either by elections or otherwise.
But since Meghan and Harry announced they were stepping down as senior royals in January and moving to North America, they have tacitly expanded their involvement in politics as they go their own way.