California Governor Gavin Newsom met “secretly” with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, ahead of the November presidential election, according to a memo obtained by a British tabloid.
Although the memo did not specify what the group discussed, the meeting could put the Duke and Duchess in violation of the “Megxit” deal, inked last February, that saw the pair separate themselves from the British royal family and end their careers as working royals.
“A memo seen by The Sun on Sunday reveals Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, had the conference with Newsom, 54, once widely tipped to be a White House frontrunner, on October 19 last year — two weeks before the election,” the outlet reported.
Although the governor’s office told the Sun that they “do not comment on the content of meetings between the Governor and private parties or his staff,” the meeting was described as “introductory” rather than overtly political. The Duke and Duchess moved to California just before the United States-Canada border closed to travel in the spring of 2020 and purchased a $14 million mansion outside of Los Angeles late last year, making them two of Newsom’s constituents.
The meeting does strike a strange note, Fox News reports, given that Queen Elizabeth and other members of the royal family are about to undertake a one-year review of the deal that saw Harry and Meghan abandon their royal posts — a deal that reportedly barred the pair from being overtly political. Under the terms of the deal, the Duke and Duchess could lose their titles if they wade into American party politics.
The pair are already under scrutiny for a video they made for “Time 100” that saw Meghan describe “the battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden as ‘the most important election of our lifetime,'” according to Fox News — commentary that some experts believe veered too close to a public political opinion.
“When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard,” Meghan said. “Your voice is a reminder that you matter. Because you do. And you deserve to be heard.”
Prince Harry, who is, of course, not an American citizen and ineligible to vote, echoed his wife’s sentiments, adding commentary that seemed to echo that of Democrats.
“As we approach this November, it’s vital we reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity,” he said.
Those comments, Fox News says, were considered by Buckingham Palace to be “crossing a line.”
Both The Sun and Fox News noted that the meeting came around the time Newsom was being tasked with teeing up a replacement for then-Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who resigned her position once she was elected Vice President. Though the timing is strange, it does not appear Meghan Markle was ever on the shortlist to replace Harris. That job went, instead, to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
Prince Harry is expected to return to the United Kingdom this month to sit down with his grandmother, the Queen, as well as his father, Prince Charles, and his brother, Prince William, to discuss whether the “Megxit” plan is working out and to pave a path forward for the Duke and Duchess’ more “progressive” royal role. By all accounts, the separation has not gone as planned; although the pair inked some income-generating deals, the pandemic has largely restricted their ability to earn money as planned, through speeches and appearances.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, is facing a potential recall effort over his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.