Meghan Markle used royal title to lobby senators for paid parental leave
Last month, Markle sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer advocating for paid family leave.
Meghan Markle called up two Republican senators and used her royal title to urge them to vote in favour of paid parental leave.
Senators Susan Collins from Maine and Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia were reportedly shocked when they heard the Duchess of Sussex’s voice on the other end of their private numbers.
Meghan contacted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York first, as she is one of the more vocal campaigners for paid parental leave. It was Gillibrand who passed along Collins’ and Moore Capito’s digits.
“I’m in my car. I’m driving. It says caller ID blocked,” Moore Capito told Politico . “And she goes ‘Sen. Capito?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ She said, ‘This is Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.’”
Collins also received a cold call and was amused that Markle used her title, despite having quit the Royal Family in 2020.
“Much to my surprise, she called me on my private line and introduced herself as the Duchess of Sussex, which is kind of ironic,” said Collins.
“I was happy to talk with her, but I’m more interested in what people from Maine are telling me about paid leave,” she added.
Collins elaborated a bit more to the The New York Times , telling the paper, “She just weighed in that she thought paid leave was really important, and I told her there were a lot of different approaches, and people were working on it.”
Last month, Meghan penned what she likely believed to be a personal, moving letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in which she advocated for paid family leave, another one of her big passions.
She doubled down on her message to congress by donating $25 Starbucks gift cards for staffers at non-profit Paid Leave. Some thought it was a kind gesture, others thought it was a publicity stunt.
According to Gillibrand, Meghan wants to be part of the process “a working group to work on paid leave long term,” but is that even possible with all the other projects she has on the go, in addition to raising her two children and hiding out from the press?