Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan draw criticism, disparaging Trump comments for video urging voting

Bryan Alexander   | USA TODAY Show Caption Hide Caption Prince Harry and wife Meghan move into new

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Bryan Alexander   | USA TODAY
Show Caption

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan appear in a new video urging Americans to reject hate speech and to vote in the November election, a stand that is under fire from critics due to its "political" nature and that drew disparaging comments from President Donald Trump.

In the "2020 Time 100" video, commemorating the magazine's choice of the world's most influential people, Harry and Meghan discuss the upcoming election and voting, and urged people to be discerning about their online content.

The video, shot on a wood bench amid a sprawling green lawn, is the couple's first since they stepped back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family, and comes six months since they moved to Southern California. Members of the royal family are politically neutral, and, as Harry points out in the video, don't vote in U.K. elections.

"As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity," Harry said in the video. "This election, I'm not going to be able to vote here in the U.S. But many of you may not know that I haven't been able to vote in the U.K. my entire life."

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He urged caution over what people consume online and put out on social media.

"When one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially," Harry said.

The American-born duchess urged voting participation.

"Every four years we are told the same thing: that this is the most important election of our lifetime,"Meghan said. "But this one is. 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."

Piers Morgan, the former "America's Got Talent" host and one-time editor of the British tabloid The Daily Mirror, decried the video as "unacceptable" on Twitter, saying that it was a clear attempt to sway voters from President Trump.

He called for Queen Elizabeth II to remove the couple's royal titles.

"The brazen disregard for royal neutrality rules to dump on Trump leaves the Queen with no option but to strip them of ALL their royal titles," Morgan wrote. "He’s still a royal, they both are ... If they drop the titles, they can say what they like. But the titles bring in their $$$$$$."

President Trump addressed the video in a press conference Monday, speaking disparagingly of Markle.

‘I’m not a fan of hers," said Trump. "I wish a lot of luck to Harry, he's going to need it."
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