LONDON — The Duchess of Sussex on Tuesday said she felt compelled to speak out against online misinformation, negativity and hate speech out of concern for the world that Archie, her son with Prince Harry, would grow up in.
Asked if becoming a mother had made her more cautious or more courageous, Meghan said that it was the latter, and that raising a child had made certain issues feel more urgent.
“It makes you so concerned for the world they’re going to inherit,” she said, addressing Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit by video from California. “And so the things that you’re able to tolerate on your own are not the same, for you go every single day, ‘How can I make this better for him, how can I make this world better for Archie?’”
“At the same time,” she said, “I am cautious of putting my family in a position of risk by certain things, and so I try to be rather very clear with what I say and to not make it controversial, but instead to talk about things that seem fairly straightforward, like exercising your right to vote.”
Her comments came several weeks after she and Harry encouraged Americans to vote in the upcoming U.S. election and warned against misinformation and hate speech, a rare intervention in American politics by members of Britain’s royal family, who typically stay neutral on political matters. Meghan, a U.S. citizen, called the election the “most important election of our lifetime.”
The couple, who gave up their royal duties in January and moved to Los Angeles, did not endorse any candidates in the video. Over the summer, Meghan said that those who did not vote would be “complicit” in its outcome.
Harry and Meghan’s comments prompted a blowback in the United States. Representative Jason Smith, Republican of Missouri, sent a letter to Britain’s ambassador to the United States saying the couple had displayed an “inappropriate act of domestic interference.”
A spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office declined to comment on whether the ambassador responded.
Before Meghan married Harry in 2018, she was a vocal critic of President Trump. Asked at a news conference about the royal couple’s appeal to Americans to vote, Mr. Trump said that he was “not a fan of hers.”
Meghan, who has been the target of racist and sexist harassment by online trolls and in the British tabloids, also spoke out against the dangers of becoming addicted to social media. She said she closed down her personal accounts for “self-preservation.”
“I don’t think people have even started to scratch the surface on what this is doing to us,” she said.