LONDON – President Donald Trump struck a blow to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on Wednesday after making comments urging other Americans to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
“I’m not a fan of her and I would say that, and she probably heard that, but I wish Harry the best of luck – he will need it,” Trump said at a press conference at the White House.
The president’s comments follow a video of Meghan and her husband, Britain’s Prince Harry, in which she said that elections every four years are labeled “the most important choice of our lives”.
“But it is,” she said.
The couple’s video urged Americans to vote and take into account the negative tone of online debates and seek decency and “build communities of compassion”.
While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex advocated that Americans vote, Trump or Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was not specifically named or endorsed, but some have interpreted their comments as critical of Trump.
“As we approach this November, it’s important that we avoid hate speech, misinformation and online negativity,” said Harry, who now lives in California with his wife. He also said he had not voted “all of his life” in accordance with royal protocols of political neutrality.
The front pages of the British tabloid were filled with pictures of the royal couple on Thursday as Buckingham Palace appeared to distance itself from their comments, telling the British press that the couple were no longer royals and that Harry spoke in a “personal capacity”.
In the past, Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, encouraged people to exercise their right to vote in Britain.
Download the NBC News App for breaking news and politics
Harry and Meghan caused a stir when they abruptly bid farewell to their royal duties in January, announcing that they would be “stepping down” as senior members of the royal family with a plan to split their time between North America and the UK.
When Harry married the former actress in May 2018, her wedding heralded an explosion of glamor and modernity into the British monarchy and helped make her one of the greatest celebrity couples in the world.
While their January announcement came as a surprise, it was no secret that the couple felt the strain of the constant barrage of media attention and endless negative headlines.
Even so, the couple’s struggles with the media have followed them across the Atlantic. In July, they filed a privacy violation lawsuit against nameless paparazzi, accusing the photographers of taking drastic measures to get pictures of them and their young son Archie in their California home.