When she was speaking only as an American actress, Meghan Markle was accustomed to expressing her views, political or otherwise, with few reservations.
Just months before she is set to become a part of the British royal family, however, experts say Prince Harry’s fiancee must now come to terms with the self-censorship her new position will require.
As The Guardian reported, Markle, 36, has previously acknowledged her “social consciousness,” which mandated that she “speak up” in response to perceived injustices.
That outspokenness was on display prior to the 2016 presidential election, when she announced her support of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The “Suits” star further explained her decision by describing GOP nominee Donald Trump as “misogynistic” and “divisive.”
Historian Robert Lacey, who has written extensively about the British monarchy, said Markle will have to keep those partisan opinions to herself when she represents the royal family.
She will also likely be required to remain mum on international issues she has dealt with as part of her United Nations ambassadorship and volunteer efforts at World Vision.
Instead, experts say she will be encouraged to continue her advocacy through organizations with royal affiliations.
“I can see that this is going to be a real problem in the months and years ahead for her, an existential problem,” he said.
Given her previous statements about Trump, Lacey said he would not expect Markle to be invited to the reception for a presidential visit.
As Prince Charles’ former press secretary Dickie Arbiter explained, political neutrality will be a requirement across the board for her after the wedding.
“It’s a bit like going in the goldfish bowl,” he said. “Everything changes. What she was able to say before she came into ‘the firm’ is very different to what she is going to be able to say now. It all changes.”
While Markle’s pre-royalty activism is not unprecedented, Lacey said it is not a common issue for the family.
“You have to go back to Prince Philip to think of a recruit to the family who is so evidently feisty and spiky,” he said.
Arbiter presumed Prince Harry has already made the requirements of the position “perfectly clear” to Markle.
“He knows she has been outspoken, but all that has to stop,” he said. “She is going to have to adapt. I am sure she is on the road already.”
Markle has reportedly begun to shift her public persona, in part by abandoning the social media accounts on which she had occasionally posted her partisan and ideological thoughts.
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