Prince Harry's recent comments on the upcoming U.S. presidential election alongside Meghan Markle left Queen Elizabeth II embarrassed and they could cost him his chance to resume duties at Britain's Royal Marines and other military posts, according to senior royal aides. The couple could also be in violation of the agreement made with Queen Elizabeth II before the couple stepped down from their royal duties in March.
Harry and Markle spoke about the election in a video for 2020 Time 100, the American magazine's annual list of the world's most influential people. While Markle said this year's presidential poll was the "most important election," Harry urged the Americans to "reject hate speech."
"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 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," he said, acknowledging that he has not been able to vote in Britain due to the politically neural stand of the queen. "As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity."
The statements were widely viewed to be against President Donald Trump, of whom Markle had been a known critic before marrying Harry. Sources at Buckingham Palace told the Sunday Times that even though Harry made the comments in "personal capacity," they embarrassed the queen.
"If Trump is re-elected and makes another visit here, what is the Queen supposed to say when her grandson and his wife have effectively campaigned against him?" said a source. "They know the political arena is meant to be absolutely off limits to members of the royal family."
Senior royal aides told the newspaper that the couple's comments broke the Sandringham agreement, in which Harry and Markle vowed: "everything they do will uphold the values of Her Majesty."
As per the agreement, the queen, the Prince of Wales Charles and the Duke of Cambridge William will review the deal made with Harry and Markle after a year. Harry quit his military roles and the Queen agreed to leave them vacant so that he could resume the duties, following their approval. However, the aides told the British newspaper that Harry's chances of returning to those duties would likely be affected.
"The door was left open," a royal aide told the Sunday Times. "There were some things that Harry hoped he could opt back into. He dearly wants to hang on to the Royal Marines and the military appointments. That will be harder now."
Harry's comments on the U.S. election were widely criticized by royal observers, who argued that it was understandable that Markle talking about the poll, given that she is an American citizen. However, it was perceived as an unusual move by Harry since the British royals have stayed out of political matters.
Harry, Markle and their son Archie moved to California earlier this year after their brief stay in Canada following their fallout with the British media. The couple accused British tabloids of invading their privacy for photographs and publishing false stories about the 39-year-old former American actress-turned-royal.