BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

Inside Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s Relationship With President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris

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While the Royal family always makes an effort to remain apolitical, Queen Elizabeth, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridges, and Duke and Duchess of Sussexes all enjoyed a warm personal relationship with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Micelle Obama that was fostered through shared humanitarian interests and goals. Now that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have taken office, the “special relationship” between the U.S. and U.K. is expected to continue to thrive.

President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden worked closely on military issues with Prince Harry during their tenure as Vice President and Second Lady during Obama’s time in office. Dr. Biden co-founded the Joining Forces initiative with Michelle Obama. She has been a staunch supporter of the work Prince Harry has been doing with the military community since her first meeting with him in 2013 at a White House Mother’s Day tea in the East Room during Harry’s visit to Washington, D.C.

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Prince Harry and First Lady Michelle Obama honor military families at the White House in May 2013.

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Joining Forces, created in 2011, provides education, training, and needed resources to the military community as service members transition to the private sector. It also is a resource for employment services and provides access to physical and mental health, alongside wellness programs, for the military community. The initiative calls on all individuals and corporations to support service members and their families who donated and sacrificed so much for their country, an issue that has been the cornerstone of Prince Harry and now Meghan’s charity work.

The new President and First Lady have been fierce advocates of the military community, rallying Americans to recognize the service and bravery of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. The First Lady’s stepson Beau Biden, whom she raised from the age of 4 after President Biden’s first wife died in a car accident, served in Iraq and earned the Bronze Star.

Prince Harry has joked that he “stole the idea” for his Invictus Games after watching the heroism of injured and sick service members and veterans compete in the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado, following his first meeting with Dr. Biden and Michelle Obama at their Joining Forces events in Washington. The Bidens would later reciprocate. Jill Biden supported Prince Harry, attending his inaugural Invictus Games in London in 2014.

On a 2015 visit to Washington, Prince Harry joined First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden again at an event to support troops and drum up support ahead of his second Invictus Games in Orlando, which would take place in the United States for the first time. Accompanied by Jill Biden, the sixth-in-line royal told injured troops that his service in Afghanistan changed his life. “I am in no doubt that my two deployments to Afghanistan changed the direction of my life,” he said. “There is very little that can truly prepare you for the reality of war. The experiences can be stark and long lasting.”

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Dr. Jill Biden, Prince Harry, and Michelle Obama at the Joining Forces Invictus Games in Fort Belvoir, Virginia in October 2015.

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President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, former President Barack Obama, and Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto.

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The Bidens joined the Duke of Sussex courtside at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando and the following year in Toronto, where Prince Harry made his first public debut with then-girlfriend Meghan Markle.

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Meghan and Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada.

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While Meghan has steered clear of making any direct comments about either President Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris, there is no doubt she has great admiration for the former California senator, who also hails from Meghan’s home state.

She told Gloria Steinem how she felt about Harris becoming Biden’s vice presidential pick earlier this summer in a backyard chat where voting, women’s empowerment, and education were the centerpiece of their discussion.

“I’m so excited to see that kind of representation,” Meghan said. “You know, for me, being biracial, growing up, whether it was a doll or a person in office, you need to see someone who looks like you in some capacity. As many of us believe, you can only be what you can see. And in the absence of that, how can you aspire to something greater than what you see in your own world?”

The Duchess of Sussex has frequently been compared to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as fellow trailblazers, both breaking barriers in their own right.

Duchess Meghan shared a warm relationship with former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, inviting Clinton to visit her and Harry at Frogmore Cottage shortly after Archie’s birth. A source at the time called the catch-up a mutual fan girl moment saying, “Both women have a lot of admiration for each other and it was a very sweet, warm meeting.” Meghan also held a private meeting with Michelle Obama, following the former First Lady’s discussion about her autobiography at London’s Southbank Centre in December of 2018.

It seems the Vice President has a mutual admiration for the Duchess, and we might see collaboration around similar goals in her first term. Harris tweeted support for Meghan in June after her commencement speech and comments supporting Black Lives Matter, “The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing. Thank you Meghan for this powerful statement,” Harris wrote. The world will have to wait and see how the Duchess and the VP come together now that Harris is in office.

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Carolyn Durand is a royal contributor for ELLE.com and Oprah.com who has covered the royal family for more than 15 years.

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