From the moment Meghan Markleties the knot with Prince Harry,she will be expected toassume the mantle of a fully-paid-up member of the British royal family with the associatedpolitical neutralityconstitutional convention dictates.
However,it remains to be seen whetherher new status will be enough to silence herwhen it comes to the issues she has campaigned on issues thathavefired hertovoiceopinions likely to elicita raised eyebrow or two among herblue-bloodedin-lawsif she repeats them over dinner.
An avid reader of Noam Chomsky,a totem of the Left and guru for anti-capitalist movements worldwide, Ms Markleurged her twomillion Instagram followers to read his polemicWho Rules the World,saying it exposes the hypocrisy at the heart of America’s policies and actions was a great read last year before adding highly recommend.
It goes without saying that the views espoused by Chomsky, one of the most cited scholars in history, are diametrically opposed with the interests of theanachronistic elite institutionshe is joining.The linguistics professor has in fact argued Ms Markle could shake up the British monarchy, who are obliged to remain impartial by their position as figureheads of the British constitution.
When she makes things official with the heir to the throneat Windsor Castle on Saturday, she will be binding herself to an institution whosevery existence sits uncomfortably alongside the conceptions ofequality and social justice beloved of Chomsky and his adherents.
“The royal family by definition cannot be progressive. It represents the kind of values Meghan would rail against, Dr Anna Whitelock, a reader in early modern history who specialises in the monarchy, tells The Independent.
The monarchy cannotstop being based on hierarchy and has to be founded on privilege and birth rather than merit. It is founded on deference and the sense that some people are better than others. It is not to say they are not committed to doing good work but they are operating in a structure that is fundamentally based on discrimination and represents values Markle may be against.
The mixed-race actor, who played determined and ambitious paralegal Rachel Zane on Suits, has previously inveighed on DonaldTrump, labelling the US presidentmisogynistic and divisive.
We film Suits in Toronto and I might just stay in Canada, the 36-year-old. I mean come on, if that’s reality we are talking about, come on, [Trump’s presidency] is a game-changer in terms of how we move in the world here.”
Ms Markle advocated voting for his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton not because shes a woman, but because Trump has made it easy to see that you dont really want that kind of world that hes painting.
But in two days’ time, her partisan allegiances and explicitly political statements will be relegated to the annals of history.
The Los Angeles-born actor was forced delete all her social media accounts in January and bid farewell to her followers. Ms Markles fans – of which there are no shortage – will now have to follow the Kensington Palace social media account as it publishes photos.
She has worked on building a narrative of her life but she is going to have to give up promotion of brand Meghan and promote the brand of the royal family,”DrWhitelocksays.”She cannot promote herself over and above the monarchy and detract from the firm.
She is a woman of the 21st century and a product of the times and somebody who has a social conscience. She has promoted her lifestyle blog and has had some international attention but is going to get a lot more.
Dr Whitlock argued the views of Ms Markle, a self-described feminist, were ultimately driven by gender politics.
The comments about Trump were about his misogyny and have to be seen in the context of her standing up for womens rights. What is clear is that she is very passionate about womens causes and, given her own background, racial discrimination and equality more generally,I would say Meghan is a passionate exponent of humanitarian issues rather than political per se.
There was a push back about her talking about the Me Too campaign, even though I would say it is not a political issue and is simply a contemporary concern.
Ms Markle, a former UN ambassador for womens rights, spoke out in support of the Me Too and Times Up campaigns against sexual harassment in February. It would have been difficult for her to have chosen a higher-profile moment to do so. She was centre stageat an event celebrating the work of the Royal Foundationand it was her first working engagement with Prince William, Kate Middleton and her future husband Harry.
I hear a lot of people speaking about girls empowerment and womens empowerment – you will hear people saying they are helping women find their voices, she said. I fundamentally disagree with that because women dont need to find their voices, they need to be empowered to use it and people need to be urged to listen.
Right now with so many campaigns like MeToo and Times Up theres no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them.
Ms Whitlock, director of the London Centre for Public History and Heritage, argued it might be tricky for the soon-to-be princess not to weigh in on topical issuesgiven she wasaccustomed to being able to giverelatively unfettered opinions as and when she wished.
She cannot speak directly into a current vortex of debate when everything is kicking off and that will be difficult forher, the academic said.
But she argued Ms Markle would be far better equipped to decide the causes she wanted to espouse than those who had assumed the role before, because she already had a professional platform.
Others grew into causes. Thedifference is she is coming in with an international profile. She is engaged with global issues and her perspective is global.
Ms Whitlock juxtaposed Harry and Ms Markles relationship with that of Prince William and Kate -arguing the pair would have to be careful not to deflect attention away from them, andeven that they may lookquite conservative and boringin comparison to the glamorous newlyweds.
They dont want to suck away attention from Will and Kate. It is not going to be long before those two are actively heirs to the throne, she said. If Meghan is seen to be too vocal it might not only undermine the bigger values of the monarchy, but she has to be careful not to detract from [them].
While public comment on all things political has of course been out of bounds for Harry for all of his life, a number of thingssuggesthe is more interested in politics than some of his blood relatives.
The prince has reportedly been critical of Mr Trump in private. In February last year, a source who is said to be close to the royal told US Weeklythe Prince is not a fan of the former reality TV star. They also said: Harry thinks the president is a serious threat to human rights.
A second source claimed the royal has often been vocal about his feelings towards Mr Trump ever since the Republican announced his presidential bid in 2015.
A palace spokesperson declined to comment on the matter to The Independent at the time, saying: By long-standing convention, we never comment on reports from unnamed sources of purported private conversations involving members of the royal family.
Furthermore, Harry struck up what to all appearances seems like a genuine friendship with Barack and Michelle Obama in recent years. It does not take a genius not even a very stable one to deduce which First Family he and his soon-to-be-wife would rather spend time with on any state function that calls for it.
Away from the trappings of theWhite House, the Obamas can now chase the causes close to their hearts without first stopping tocalculatethe political impact of so doing.
Come Saturday afternoon, that is a freedom Ms Marklewill no longer enjoy.