Despite the criticism she faced for her open letter to two Democrats for paid family leave last month, the Duchess of Sussex has continued lobbying for the cause. In her latest move, she cold-called Republican Senators on their private numbers and pushed them to support the move.

The financially-independent British royal also ignored the backlash she received for using her royal title in her letter, and opened her call to the Republican senators by introducing herself as the Duchess of Sussex.

Politico magazine reported on Wednesday that Meghan called two Republican Senators, Susan Collins from Maine and Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, both of whom confessed to being shocked at receiving the call out of the blue. Collins said she was particularly surprised at Meghan for using her British title to lobby US senators despite having quit as a working royal last year.

"Much to my surprise, she called me on my private line and introduced herself as the Duchess of Sussex, which is kind of ironic," Collins said.

She added, "I was happy to talk with her, but I'm more interested in what people from Maine are telling me about paid leave."

Meanwhile, Capito revealed that she received the call from a blocked ID and expected it to be Joe Manchin, the other senator for West Virginia who has been trying to get her to agree to Joe Biden's infrastructure bill. Capito recalled, "I'm in my car. I'm driving. It says caller ID blocked. Honestly, I thought it was Senator Manchin, his calls come in blocked. And she goes 'Sen. Capito?' I said, 'Yes.' She said, 'This is Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.'"

The Duchess was encouraged to make the calls by Kristen Gillibrand, senator for New York and an advocate for paid parental leave, who also gave her their private numbers. Gillibrand said that Meghan is now hoping to be part of "a working group to work on paid leave long term" and will be calling other senators as well.

"I talked to each of the women senators and let them know that she's going to reach out, because she only completed two of the calls. She's going to call some others, so I let them know in advance," she said.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Photo: AFP / Ben STANSALL