WHEN Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, the nuptials marked the end of her working life as an actor.

But emerging from St George's Chapel as the newly minted Duchess of Sussex, Meghan has also had to give up another major part of her identity - her voice.

Since the 17th century, royal protocol dictates the British monarchy is forbidden from expressing political opinion, meaning members of the royal family cannot vote or be seen to be favouring one political cause over another.

It's so strictly followed that Queen Elizabeth was accused of being in breach after saying people should "think very carefully about the future" before the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding was one of the most heavily guarded events in history.
Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding was one of the most heavily guarded events in history.

Forget wearing pantyhose or curtsying, this is the rule Meghan - a Noam Chomsky devotee and anti-Brexit protester - will struggle the most to follow.

University of Paris British history professor Ophelie Simeon told France 24 that no member of the royal family, including Meghan, can voice their political opinions publicly.

"She is definitely political, but as the newest member of the royal family I think she will use her charity work to channel her political side," Prof Simeon said.

"I think it will be more appropriate as far as protocol is concerned."

The former Suits star is no stranger to voicing her opinion from an early age, having successfully campaigned to have a washing detergent advertisement's sexist language changed at just 11.

In 2016, Meghan told the US talk show The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore she would move to Canada if a "misogynistic" Donald Trump was elected president.

"It's really the moment I go, we film Suits in Toronto and I might just stay in Canada," Meghan said.

"If that is really the reality we are talking about then that is a game changer in terms of how we move in the world here."

As part of her transition to royalty, Meghan had her Instagram account shut down in January, erasing the political statements she had made on the social media platform.

In January 2016, Meghan posted an anti-Brexit message during the week of the UK referendum - two months into her relationship with Prince Harry.

Meghan shared a picture of a sign which read: "If EU leave me now you take away the biggest part of me."

"If EU leave me now …#Brexit #parliament #referendum #London," Meghan captioned the photo.

 

Meghan has previously used her Instagram to protest Brexit. Picture: Instagram
Meghan has previously used her Instagram to protest Brexit. Picture: Instagram

 

Meghan, who completed a double degree in theatre and international studies at university, is also a fan of left wing political activist Noam Chomsky.

In another post on her now-deleted Instagram account, the actor urged her followers to read Chomsky's Who Rules The World, because it "exposes the hypocrisy at the heart of America's policies and actions".

Chomsky has been critical of royalty, telling Prospect Magazine in 2011 that "the pomp and ceremony helps undermine respect for state authority".

Marrying Prince Harry, Meghan has joined arguably the world's most privileged family and will never have to worry about money again.

Having already faced criticism for wearing a $100,000 Ralph & Russo dress during her engagement photo shoot last year, it remains to be seen how Meghan's views about social inequality will be received now that she is a member of the British elite.

Or as UK TV host Piers Morgan more bluntly wrote for MailOnline:"There's nothing remotely feminist or equal about being a Duchess and living in a gigantic Palace."

Declaring in her online royal biography that she is "proud to be a woman and a feminist", Meghan appears poised to make fighting gender inequality the centre of her work as a royal.

But any campaigning for women's rights will also need to avoid being political, a fine line Meghan has already struggled to walk.

Meghan Markle is also a fan of Noam Chomsky. Picture: Instagram
Meghan Markle is also a fan of Noam Chomsky. Picture: Instagram

At a February event celebrating the Royal Foundation alongside her fiance Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan spoke in favour of the Time's Up and #MeToo - movements viewed by some as being politically left.

"There was a push back about her talking about the #MeToo campaign, even though I would say it is not a political issue and is simply a contemporary concern," royal history expert Dr Anna Whitelock told The Independent.

Dr Whitelock argues Meghan is a "woman of the 21st century" and has a clear "social conscience", contrasting with the traditions of the royal family.

"The royal family by definition cannot be progressive. It represents the kind of values Meghan would rail against," she said.

"It is not to say they are not committed to doing good work but they are operating in a structure that is fundamentally based on discrimination and represents values Markle may be against."