Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle called Wednesday for the United States to provide paid family leave, confessing in an open letter to congressional leaders to feeling “overwhelmed” by the arrival of her daughter.
In an open letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, the Duchess of Sussex wrote: “I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician. I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent.”
“Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed,” the 40-year-old wrote of her daughter’s birth in June.
The former ‘Suits’ actress added: “Like fewer parents, we weren’t confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work.”
Meghan, who has two children with the British royal, told the Democratic congressional leaders she was writing “as a mom” to advocate for paid leave as the party’s lawmakers debate whether the provision will make it into President Joe Biden’s sweeping Build Back Better social spending bill.
The mom-of-two spoke of the “sacred” importance of being able to take Lilibet home after her birth and devote “any and everything to our kids and to our family.”
“We knew that by doing so we wouldn’t have to make impossible choices about childcare, work, and medical care that so many have to make every single day,” she wrote.
Members of the British royal family are expected to stay above the political fray, avoiding partisan positions on the issues of the day.
Meghan said paid family leave should be “a national right, rather than a patchwork option limited to those whose employers have policies in place, or those who live in one of the few states where a leave program exists.”
The US does not guarantee paid leave, a benefit that the White House says is good for business. The Democrats, who narrowly control both chambers of Congress, are working on finalizing the social spending plan, which looks likely to include up to four weeks of paid family leave, substantially less than the 12 weeks Biden proposed.
“I know how politically charged things can — and have — become,” Meghan wrote. “But this isn’t about Right or Left, it’s about right or wrong.”
The Sussexes left the Royal Family in shock last year when they announced they were stepping back from frontline royal duties.
Harry and Meghan moved to Los Angeles, cutting financial ties with the royal family and signing a string of lucrative deals, including with the streaming giant Netflix, and Apple TV+.