Meghan Markle says paid family leave not ‘political issue’ after being criticized for breaking Royal Family rule on political neutrality

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaks on stage during Global Citizen Live in New York on September 25, 2021. John Lamparski / Getty Images

  • Meghan Markle said paid family leave was not a “political issue”.

  • The Duchess has come under fire for using her title to defend the issue.

  • A palace aide told The Times of London that “the royal family has no say in US politics.”

Meghan Markle said paid time off was not a “political issue” after she was criticized by a palace aide for getting involved in politics in the United States.

The Duchess of Sussex called on US senators, including Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, to advocate for paid parental leave in the United States, Politico reported Wednesday.

The Duchess said she did not view paid time off as political when asked if she felt “anxious” about getting involved in politics at the New York Times DealBook summit on Tuesday .

“There is certainly a precedent in my husband’s family and the royal family not to get involved in politics, but I think paid time off, from my point of view, is just a humanitarian issue,” said the Duchess.

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Markle in conversation at the DealBook summit. The New York Times DealBook Summit.

A Buckingham Palace aide previously said the Duchess of Sussex used its title “out of context” during discussions on political matters, The Times of London reported on Sunday.

Speaking to The Times, an anonymous palace aide said members of the royal family “generally avoid this stuff.”

“Otherwise, you use the title out of context and people will question your motivation. The royal family has no say in US politics. Campaigning is important, but there is a difference between campaigning. on “issues” like the environment and mental health, and aligning yourself with policies, “the assistant said.

“The Duchess of Sussex is not allowed to have a more powerful voice [on the issue] than any other mother in America. She shouldn’t play in politics, ”they added.

Senator Shelley Moore told Politico the Duchess introduced herself by her title, “Meghan, Duchess of Sussex” after calling her from a blocked number. Markle too wrote a letter to Congress to advocate for paid family and medical leave last month, which she signed with her royal title.

A source close to the Duchess told The Times that she contacted members of Congress “in her personal capacity as a committed citizen.”

Representatives for the Duchess of Sussex declined to comment when contacted by Insider. Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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