Melanie McDonagh Melanie McDonagh

Who cares what Harry and Meghan think about Trump?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Time magazine)

Well, who can the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have in mind in their video message to Time 100 – for the magazine’s issue on influential people – when they talked about the need to reject ‘hate speech, misinformation and online negativity’ in the context of the US election? 

There are precisely two possibilities. Do you reckon these things might, just possibly, be code for the president, Donald Trump? In which case – I may of course be wrong here – it looks as if they’re urging people to vote Democrat. As for lovely Meghan’s observation that this is ‘the most important election of our lifetime’ it does seem to be channelling Michelle Obama’s call to arms: vote as if your life depended on it. And she’s saying this on the basis that one of the candidates is – what? Too frightful for words?

Meghan and Michelle have both signed extremely lucrative deals with Netflix, which might go some way towards explaining the similarity of their ‘messaging’. But Mrs Obama is, unlike Harry, an American citizen and is entitled to get involved. The Duke has no such qualification, even though Meghan can actually vote. Harry, as he engagingly observes, hasn’t ever voted on account of being royal, that is, because his grandmother is head of state. Has he got any knowledge of US domestic politics except what he’s picked up off his wife and from the vantage point of his well-appointed villa in Santa Barbara?

The sole likely effect of their intervention may be to steel reluctant Republicans to vote Trump, because who wants to be lectured to by this pair? Is there any Democrat out there more likely to vote because Meghan thinks it’s important?

And the only qualification either of them has to sound off is that they have been picked up by Time Magazine as a power couple and they are a power couple for one reason, which is that the Duke is the grandson of the Queen.

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