In a rare display of political solidarity, as far as British royals are concerned, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reportedly voiced their support for LGBTQ rights on Wednesday. Activist Jacob Thomas of Australia told People magazine that, "Miss Markle said, and these were her exact words, 'This is a basic human rights issue, not one about sexuality.'"
"Prince Harry said that what was so amazing was that 10 or so years ago, we wouldn’t have been having this conversation and how incredible it was that we now were," Thomas told the magazine. The activist was given the Queen's Young Leader award in 2016 for his advocacy work on lowering the Australian suicide rate among LGBTQ people. His comments were corroborated by LGBTQ activist Jonah Chinga of Kenya, who told People: "Both Prince Harry and Miss Markle said they would put LGBT issues at the front of their work."
Thomas shared Harry and Markle's comments from their recent appearance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. The theme for this year's congregation is "Powering Our Common Future," where the gathering would "include opportunities for plenary discussions and action planning breakout sessions" based on the themes of "prosperity, security, sustainability and fairness," according to the CHOGM's website.
Although the royal couple will get married in May, the LGBTQ activist said they made clear that they don't plan to press pause on their advocacy.
In a November interview with BBC, Markle and Harry spoke of their future as a couple as well as the causes they hold close to their hearts. When asked for her thoughts as on becoming a royal figure, Markle said the she was excited and wanted to venture further into helping communities in the country. "I think what’s been really exciting is we talk about the transition out of my [acting] career," she said.
Markle explained that she looks forward to focusing "even more energy" on the philanthropic and humanitarian causes she believes in. The Suits alum has spoken against the "stigmatization of menstrual health" in Time magazine after she visited India. She's also written to powerful political and legal figures like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred.
During her BBC interview, Markle added, "Very early out of the gate you realize that once you have access or a voice that people are willing to listen to with that comes a lot of responsibility, which I take very seriously."
The former actress said, "In these beginning few months and now being boots on the ground in the [United Kingdom], I’m excited to really just get to know more about the different communities here [and] the smaller organizations who are working on the same causes that I have always been passionate [...] and also being able to go around to the Commonwealth."
Markle isn't alone in her social convictions; her future husband seems to support her, as well. In the BBC interview, Harry said, "Both of us have passions for wanting to make change, change for good." He told BBC about the couple's future political plan: "With lots of young people running around the Commonwealth, that’s where we are going to spend most of our time hopefully."
The royal couple's clear vocalization of support for the LGBTQ community of the United Kingdom as well as the world is noteworthy, especially because other British royals have historically avoided publicly speculating on politics. In fact, as Vanity Fair noted, "the queen [Elizabeth II] and her family do not even vote." That said, with Markle's future addition to the family, it looks like politics will be brought to the royal table.