Harry, Meghan held ‘secret political summit’ before US election
A secret meeting with a top US Democrat has put a sharp focus on the political ambitions of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as they make their new life in America.
The online summit with the governor of the biggest US state, California's Gavin Newsom, in the run-up to the November presidential election has been revealed in the aftermath of Markle's widely reported jockeying against former president Donald Trump.
California-based Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent an hour talking online with Governor Newsom.
The Sun reports that their video link-up came shortly after they were criticised for seemingly ignoring royal protocols by buying into the presidential election debate.
The virtual meeting happened while Governor Newsom was under pressure to replace California Senator Kamala Harris - who went on to become the new Vice President - with another black woman.
A memo seen by The Sun showed Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, had the conference with Governor Newsom, 54, once touted to be a White House contender, on October 19 last year - two weeks before the election where Donald Trump was tipped out of office.
Governor Newsom's office refused to divulge what issues were covered in the talk fest, which was noted as an "introductory meeting".
"We do not comment on the content of meetings between the Governor and private parties or his staff," a spokesman for the governor said.
It came weeks after Markle described the battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden as "the most important election of our lifetime".
"When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard," she said.
"Your voice is a reminder that you matter. Because you do. And you deserve to be heard."
Prince Harry said in the same interview: "As we approach this November, it's vital we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity."
The meeting came as reports in America claimed Governor Newsom was being urged to find a black woman to replace Kamala Harris as her departure left no women of colour in the Senate.
He eventually chose Mexican immigrants' son Alex Padilla as the state's first Hispanic senator.
The Sun claimed it has long been rumoured Markle wants a career in politics, with some suggesting she has even set her sights on being President.
Members of the Royal Family are supposed to remain politically neutral but Prince Harry and Markle stepped down as senior royals to carve out a new life in the US.
Buckingham Palace aides reportedly warned the pair they were close to "crossing a line" through their apparent desire to play a role in the US election.
Under Megxit terms struck 12 months ago, the pair pledged that "everything they do will continue to uphold values of Her Majesty".
Mr Trump went on record to say of Markle: "I'm not a fan of hers. I wish a lot of luck to Harry, because he's going to need it."
She revealed she had been cold-calling Americans to encourage them to vote as she became the first member of the Royal Family to vote in a major election after casting a postal ballot in November's US presidential election.
In a TV appearance in 2016, Hollywood actress Markle branded Trump "misogynistic".
She admitted she supported his beaten Democrat rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Mr Biden is expected to meet the Queen for the first time since becoming US President when he visits Britain for the G7 summit in June.
A spokesman for Prince Harry and Markle declined to comment, according to The Sun.
Originally published as Harry, Meghan held 'secret political summit' before US election