The US Midterm elections are taking place across the United States of America today.
The congressional general election will see all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 1000 seats in the United States Senate being contested.
While the eligibility of voters is affected by a minimum age which varies from state to state, US citizens living overseas are still able to vote in the election – provided they are 18 years of age or older, and eligible in the state.
However, is it the same case for one particular person who hails from Los Angeles? Meghan Markle was born in the US but married into the British Royal Family earlier this year – so can she vote on political matters in her native country?
The Duchess of Sussex is currently applying for British citizenship, after tying the knot with Prince Harry back in May.
It’s unknown whether the 37-year-old will retain her US citizenship by taking dual nationality.
The process is lengthy, and while she undertakes her application, the royal will continue to be solely a US citizen.
Therefore, it seems that Meghan is currently eligible to submit her ballot in the US Midterms 2018.
But, does her royal status stop her from casting her vote?
The royal family attempt to steer clear of political matters in the UK, with the official website stating that, as the Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II “has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters”.
Despite having a ceremonial and formal role in the government, the Queen of England is therefore “unable to vote or stand for election”.
It’s thought that senior members of the royal family also don’t vote, in a bid to remain politically impartial.
So could this mean that Meghan will choose not to vote in the US elections?
The answer is unknown, with Kensington Palace declining to comment on the matter when contacted by the US publication People.
The Duchess has spoken about the importance of voting in the past – including while in Wellington, New Zealand last week, during her recent major royal tour.
During her speech at a celebration of New Zealand’s 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, she said: “The achievements of the women of New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote, and were the first in the world to achieve it, are universally admired.
“In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolizes.”
The Duchess continued: “Because yes – women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness.
“Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents.
“The basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community.
“The involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world you are a part of.”
Meghan added: “And women’s suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women but also about what that represents.
“The basic and fundamental human right of all people – including members of society who have been marginalised – whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation – to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community.”