The Duke of Sussex has urged people in the US to “reject hate speech” and vote in the country’s upcoming presidential election.
Harry and the Duchess of Sussex appeared in a live video apparently from their California home as part of the Time 100, a list compiled by the magazine to celebrate the world’s most influential people.
“As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity,” Harry said as he sat on a bench alongside Meghan.
He also reminded Americans to be discerning in terms of the content they consume online.
Harry said: “When the bad outweighs the good, for many, whether we realise it or not, it erodes our ability to have compassion and our ability to put ourself in someone else’s shoes.
“Because when one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially. It’s time to not only reflect, but act.”
Broadcaster Piers Morgan criticised the duke for his remarks, tweeting: “Prince Harry poking his woke nose into the US election & effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump is completely unacceptable behaviour for a member of the Royal Family.”
A source close to Harry insisted the duke was not referring to US President Donald Trump or any other individual.
“The duke was talking about the tone of debate in the run-up to an election which is already quite febrile,” they said.
“He is not talking about any candidate or specific campaign.
“He is building on a lot of stuff that he’s said before about online communities, how we engage with each other online, rather than specifically making any political points.”
The 36-year-old duke mentioned that he would not be voting in the election due to his lack of US citizenship, adding he had not voted in UK elections throughout his life.
Harry said: “This election, I’m not going to be able to vote here in the US. But many of you might not know that I haven’t been able to vote in the UK my entire life.”
The source declined to comment on whether the duke’s words suggested he would be applying for dual citizenship in the US in order to be able to vote in future elections.
“They are not working royals. They are private citizens and it’s understandable they want to keep those matters private,” the source said.
Members of the royal family traditionally do not vote, and the Queen is politically neutral.
Although UK law does not ban royalty from voting, it is considered unconstitutional for them to do so.
Harry quit as a senior working royal with Meghan in March in a bid for personal and financial freedom and now lives in the US, but they still remain members of the royal family.
The duchess, who mocked then-Republican candidate Mr Trump during a 2016 television appearance, said in the video the November poll was the “most important election of our lifetime”.
“When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you matter, because you do and you deserve to be heard,” she said.
Meghan has made it clear she supports Mr Trump’s opponent Joe Biden, telling lawyer and feminist activist Gloria Steinem last month she was “so excited” to see fellow biracial woman Kamala Harris selected as the Democrat’s running mate.
Ms Steinem has said the duchess came home to vote and has been cold-calling people to encourage voter participation.
She told Access Hollywood: “She came home to vote. The first thing we did, and why she came to see me, was we sat at the dining room table where I am right now and we cold-called voters.”
As a result of the Time video, one bookmaker now has Meghan at odds of 100/1 to become president of the US in just four years’ time.
Jessica O’Reilly, of Ladbrokes, said: “Since leaving the UK, Meghan hasn’t been shy when it’s come to voicing her political opinions, and a run for president in 2024 certainly isn’t off the table.”