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Prince Harry’s close bond with Jill Biden revealed: Weeks after he and Meghan Markle interfered in US election, how Joe joked his wife had ‘spent too much damn time’ with the Duke of Sussex
- Prince Harry, 36, and the President-elect’s wife Jill, 69, first struck up a friendship in 2013, when the Duke toured the US
- At the time, Joe and Jill were the Vice President and Second Lady, and they met Harry at a reception hosted by then-President Barack Obama at the White House
- Jill then attended the inaugural Invictus Games in London the following year, and both she and Joe continued to support the event in 2016 and 2017
- Harry and Jill are said to have bonded over the military; the Duke served in the army for 10 years, while Jill’s late stepson Beau was a major in the US military
- In 2014, Joe joked about reading an article in which it was reported Harry ‘had this blonde woman on his arm’ everywhere he went at the Invictus Games
- ‘The Vice President’s wife! I’m a little worried here, you know what I mean?’ Joe said, later adding in 2016 that Jill ‘spent too much damn time with Prince Harry’
- Prince Harry has come under fire in recent months for wading publicly into US politics, despite British royals being expected to maintain political neutrality
- Harry and Meghan were accused of hinting at support for Biden ahead of the presidential election – a move that prompted fury on both sides of the Atlantic
That was widely interpreted as an attack on Donald Trump, who responded to the video by saying he was ‘not a fan’ of Meghan and wishing Harry ‘a lot of luck’ with her ‘because he’s going to need it’.
Traditionally, members of the Royal Family are expected to remain politically neutral at all times, and Buckingham Palace distanced itself from the video. It said the Duke is ‘not a working member of the royal family’ and described his comments as being ‘made in a personal capacity’.
Despite their 33-year age gap, Jill and Harry are said to have bonded over their shared military links; the Duke spent 10 years serving in the British Army, while Jill’s late stepson Beau was a major in the US Military.
Best buds? Prince Harry and Jill Biden have enjoyed a close friendship for several years, with the wife of President-elect Joe regularly showing her support for the Duke’s Invictus Games
Harry and Meghan Markle recorded a video in September urging Americans to vote, and hinted that they support Joe Biden. That video provoked a response from Donald Trump
First meeting: Harry, 36, and Jill, 69, met in May 2013 at a reception for US and British wounded soldiers in D.C., where they’re said to have bonded over their shared dedication to the military
Fast friends: The Duke of Sussex and then-Second Lady Jill then attended a Mother’s Day tea for military moms hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House two days later
Harry and Jill’s longstanding friendship stretches back to May 2013 when they met at a reception for US and British wounded soldiers in Washington, D.C.
They appeared to strike up an immediate bond as the following year Jill travelled solo to London for Harry’s inaugural Invictus Games, where they were pictured beaming together during several of the events.
Joe joked he was ‘a little worried’ about how much time Harry and Jill were spending together, a gag the then-Vice President repeated in 2016 when his wife again met the Prince at the Games in Orlando.
‘Jill went to London for the last Games. She spent too much damn time with Prince Harry,’ he said.
The Bidens further attended the Games in Toronto in 2017 – the same year that Harry stepped out in public with Meghan, 39, for the first time.
In the wake of a US election cycle that divided the country in which votes in key swing states went down to the wire, Harry’s relationship with Jill risks fresh accusations of partiality.
The Sussexes’ September video for Time 100 calling on Americans to cast their ballots and ‘reject hate speech’ provoked fury in the White House where it was judged a thinly-veiled swipe at President Trump.
At the time Trump hit back: ‘I’m not a fan of hers. I would say this – and she has probably heard that – I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it.’
Upset: Harry and Meghan prompted furious backlash when they spoke out about the election in a Time 100 video (pictured), despite royals being expected to remain politically neutral
Shared values: The duo both have strong ties to the armed forces; Harry spent 10 years serving in the British Army (left), while Jill’s late stepson Beau was a major in the US Military (right)
Support: In September 2014, Jill flew to London to attend the inaugural Invictus Games, and her clear bond with Harry prompted Joe to joke that he was ‘a little worried’
Senior administration aide Corey Lewandowski said: ‘They made Britain great again by leaving, I hope they do the same for us.’
Sources close to the pair pushed back at accusations the video was a tacit endorsement of Biden nor a partisan intervention in the election.
But royal experts drew different conclusions in the wake of remarks made by the couple appearing to stretch the strict code political neutrality expected of royals.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson told DailyMail.com that it ‘may be easier’ for Meghan and Harry to give up their royal titles altogether given the ‘business and political agenda they appear to want to pursue’.
Robert Oulds and Niall McCrae, of the Eurosceptic Bruges Group think tank, said the video was ‘naked campaigning’ for the Democratic nominee.
They said: ‘These woke warriors have breached protocol by interfering in an election.
‘The House of Windsor should act swiftly, stripping Harry and Meghan of their royal titles.’
DailyMail.com editor-at-large Piers Morgan said: ‘Prince Harry poking his woke nose into the US election and effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump is completely unacceptable behavior for a member of the Royal Family.’
Accusations of a brazen partisan intervention, which are now being re-examined after Harry’s friendship with the incoming First Lady came to the fore, came after the Prince’s negative feelings towards the president were aired.
Publicly the Sussexes have made their views on subjects from climate change to online bullying known.
Squad: Harry, who is also close friends with the Obamas, reunited with pals Jill and Michelle in 2015 at an event in Virginia to promote the 2016 Invictus Games
Three’s a crowd? The Bidens showed their joint support for the Games in 2016, although Joe couldn’t help but joke that his wife had ‘spent too much damn time’ with Harry in 2014
Guests of honor: Joe and Jill were also present at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto – however they have not been seen publicly with Prince Harry since then
Controversial? Harry (pictured with Jill in 2017) was recently slammed for seemingly hinting that he supported Biden’s presidential campaign
But privately, in an embarrassing hoax phone call with Russian pranksters posing as teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, the Prince said President Trump’s championing of America’s coal industry meant he had ‘blood on his hands’.
Days before the Time 100 video was released, activist and Democrat campaigner Gloria Steinem revealed that Meghan had been ‘cold-calling US voters’, explaining that she and the Duchess of Sussex reached out to people together in order to encourage them to take part in the election process.
‘She came home to vote. The first thing we did, and why she came to see me, was we sat at the dining room table where I am right now and we cold-called voters,’ Gloria, 86, told Access Hollywood.
A spokesperson for Prince Harry ‘declined to comment on the current status of Harry’s relationship with Biden’ when asked by Insider, however given the public outrage over the Duke’s decision to wade into US politics, it’s likely that any public show of friendship would prompt furious controversy, particularly in the wake of the closely-fought election.
Previously, any show of friendliness between Harry and the Bidens was done so in an official capacity in terms of the Duke’s role as a senior royal and the Invictus Games founder – and meetings took place with the backing of the Royal Family and the UK government at sanctioned events.
However, after Harry stepped down from his official duties as a royal, any show of friendship or support for the Bidens would be done on a personal level – and could once again spark outcry over whether the Duke is demonstrating political allegiances – and flouting royal traditions in the process.
Since the election, both Harry and Meghan have refrained from once again speaking out about politics – however a source revealed to the New York Post last week that the Duchess of Sussex had cast her vote early via mail-in ballot.
That same source also claimed that Meghan – who has made her political ambitions increasingly clear over the past few months while taking part in numerous virtual summits and Zoom conferences – would not have let anything stop her from voting in this election, insisting that she’d have cast her ballot even if she and Harry had still been living in the UK.
Harry was not be able to actually vote in the election because he is not a US citizen, but one source close to the couple, who re-located to California with their son Archie earlier this year, said that both he and Meghan had taken a ‘keen interest’ in the events leading up to it.
‘They have taken a keen interest in this election and I’m sure they are eagerly awaiting the outcome,’ a ‘friend’ told People.
Although Meghan is not officially a royal, having lost her status as a senior member of The Firm when she and Harry chose to step away from their duties at the start of the year, she is the first person with such close attachment to the monarchy to take part in a US election in modern history.
Neither Meghan or Harry actually voiced their support for one particular candidate ahead of the election – however the Duchess of Sussex has previously spoken about her dislike of President Donald Trump, branding him ‘misogynistic’ and ‘divisive’ during a talk show appearance in 2016, shortly after he had won the election.
When Trump made an official state visit to the UK in June 2019, Meghan did not join the other royals in meeting him – a move that some royal sources claimed was her way of showing her disapproval of the President, although officially, her absence was blamed on the fact that she was still on maternity leave.
However, it was revealed in November 2019 that Meghan had invited Hillary Clinton to visit her and baby Archie at Frogmore Cottage – the family’s home in the UK – where the two women were said to have enjoyed a ‘very warm, sweet’ meeting.
The couple have also signed a deal with Netflix to make documentaries, which are believed will centre on current affairs issues.