Buckingham Palace distances itself from Prince Harry US ‘hate speech’ remarks

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Buckingham Palace distances itself from Prince Harry US ‘hate speech’ remarks

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Buckingham Palace has appeared to distance itself from comments made by the Duke of Sussex as Harry urged people in the US to “reject hate speech” and vote in the presidential elections.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 7:00 am

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Harry has faced a backlash amid claims of political interference and suggestions he is telling people to vote against Republican nominee and US president Donald Trump.

The palace highlighted the fact the duke is no longer a working royal and said his remarks were made in a “personal capacity”.

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A palace spokesman said: “We would not comment.

“The duke is not a working member of the royal family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity.” Harry remains sixth in line to the throne despite stepping down as a senior working royal, and members of the royal family traditionally do not vote or become involved in elections or political matters.

The Queen, as a constitutional head of state, is politically neutral.

The monarch’s grandson said in a video for Time magazine as he sat on a bench alongside Meghan at their Californian home: “As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”

Mr Trump, who is campaigning for re-election, has often been criticised for using inflammatory language. In August, Facebook deleted one of his posts for the first time for violating its policy against spreading misinformation about coronavirus.

Twitter began labelling Mr Trump’s tweets with fact checks in May.

Broadcaster Piers Morgan condemned Harry for his remarks, tweeting: “Prince Harry poking his woke nose into the US election & effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump is completely unacceptable behaviour for a member of the Royal Family.”

A source close to Harry insisted the duke was not referring to Mr Trump nor any other individual.

“The duke was talking about the tone of debate in the run-up to an election, which is already quite febrile,” they said. “He is not talking about any candidate or specific campaign.

“He is building on a lot of stuff that he’s said before about online communities, how we engage with each other online, rather than specifically making any political points.”

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, questioned the wisdom of Harry’s comments.

“I think it is understandable that Meghan, as a US citizen, is doing what she is doing to encourage people to vote in the forthcoming election, but I question the wisdom of her husband doing likewise,” Mr Little said.

“Harry is no longer a working member of the royal family but he remains a senior member of the royal family and with that comes responsibilities. It seems unlikely that he’d be making the remarks he’s been making were he still in the UK.”

Harry reminded Americans to be discerning in terms of the content they consume online.

The duke said: “When the bad outweighs the good, for many, whether we realise it or not, it erodes our ability to have compassion and our ability to put our self 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.”


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