Duchess Meghan Markle has been accused of breaking royal protocol by advocating for paid parental leave.
During an interview with The New York Times DealBook Online Summit, she denied that her involvement was causing “anxiety.” Royals are meant to remain “neautral” on all things pertaining to politics. Markle says parental leave is not political.
“I don’t see this as a political issue, frankly,” she told Andrew Ross Sorkin. “Look, there is certainly a precedent amongst my husband’s family and the royal family of not having any involvement in politics, but I think this is, I mean, paid leave, from my standpoint, is just a humanitarian issue.”
She continued, “To come back [to the US] and now be a mother of two and to see that the US is one of only six countries in the entire world that doesn’t offer any form of national paid leave just didn’t make sense.”
The U.S. does not currently have a federal paid maternity and family leave act but some states do include paid leave legislation for family members.
Markle says the leave should be for both mothers and fathers. “If we valued American families in that way, as we should, it sets us up for economic growth and success, but it also just really allows people to have that very sacred time as a family,” she added.
In October, Markle penned an open letter to House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Charles Schumer published by Paid Leave for All.
“Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities,” she wrote in the letter “At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.”