With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle asking people to vote in a run up to the US election, it was reportedly termed as "interference." Amid all this drama, fresh controversy is brewing over the British prince's close friendship with Jill Biden.
US President-elect Joe Biden reportedly joked his wife had "spent too much damn time" with the Duke of Sussex. Prince Harry and the soon to be first lady of the US's friendship dates back to seven years when he was representing Britain as a working royal. However, this friendship adds to concerns in Britain about Harry "poking his nose" into US politics.
Recently in a run up to the US election, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a video urging Americans to "reject hate" and vote in the presidential election. It was interpreted as an attack on Donald Trump, who responded to the video by saying he was "not a fan" of Meghan and wished Harry "a lot of luck" with her "because he's going to need it".
Traditionally, members of the British royal family are expected to remain politically neutral at all times. Buckingham Palace also distanced itself from the video, and said in a statement that Harry is "not a working member of the royal family" and described his comments as being "made in a personal capacity".
Despite their 33-year age gap, Jill Biden and Harry are said to have bonded over their shared military links; the duke spent 10 years serving in the British Army, while Jill's late stepson Beau was a major in the US Military.
Harry and Jill's longstanding friendship dates back to May 2013 when they met at a reception for US and British wounded soldiers in Washington, D.C. They immediately appeared to strike up a bond as the following year Jill travelled solo to London for Harry's inaugural Invictus Games, where they were pictured chatting and smiling together during several events.
Joe joked he was "a little worried" about how much time Harry and Jill were spending together. The 77-year-old repeated the gag in 2016 when his wife again met Harry at the Invictus Games in Orlando. "Jill went to London for the last Games. She spent too much damn time with Prince Harry," Joe said.
The Bidens attended the Games in Toronto in 2017. It was the same year that Harry went public with Meghan for the first time.
In the wake of a US election, Harry's relationship with Jill may come under the scanner of partiality. Sources close to Harry and Meghan pushed back at accusations that the video was a veiled endorsement of Biden or an intervention in the election.
However, royal experts came down heavily on them in the wake of their remarks that appeared to stretch the strict code political neutrality expected of royals.
A spokesperson for Harry declined to comment on the current status of his relationship with the Bidens, according to Insider.
Previously, any show of friendliness between Harry and the Bidens was done in an official capacity in terms of the duke's role as a senior royal and the Invictus Games founder - and meetings took place with the backing of the Royal Family and the UK government at sanctioned events.
However, after Harry stepped down from his official duties as a royal, any show of friendship or support for the Bidens would be done on a personal level - and could once again spark outcry over whether the Duke is demonstrating political allegiances - and flouting royal traditions in the process.