Meghan Markle called two Republican Senators on their private numbers using her royal title to urge them vote for paid parental leaves. It emerged on Wednesday that Meghan Markle had called the senators and used her royal title to do so. It shocked the politicians.

The move is just the start for the Los Angeles-born mother-of-two, who is now hoping to be part “a working group that works on long-term paid leave”, according to Senator Kirsten Gilbrand. 

She called Republican Senators. Susan Collins from Maine Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia. Both said they were shocked Markle called them out of the blue and noted how she used her royal title as a lobbyist for the cause.

It comes after she wrote a letter directly to the top Democrats, lobbying them on this issue, and then bought gift cards for Starbucks for workers at an activist group in a high-profile stunt to raise awareness about the cause.

The Duchess of Sussex on October 20 wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer advocating for paid family leave – a letter that was handed out to several media outlets.

On Wednesday Politico reported that she had – following a conversation with Kirsten Gillibrand, senator for New York – taken her lobbying a step further and picked up the phone. 

Meghan Markle. the Duchess of Sussex, is pictured at the Global Citizen Live festival in Central Park with Prince Harry on September 25. In October, she began a lobbying campaign for paid parental leave

Meghan Markle. The Duchess and Prince Harry are pictured together at the Global Citizen Live festival held in Central Park on September 25, 2018. She began a lobbying campaign to get paid parental leave in October.

Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican senator for West Virginia, told Politico on Wednesday that she was shocked to receive a call from Markle

Shelley Moore Capito (a Republican senator for West Virginia) told Politico Wednesday that she was shocked by Markle’s call.

Gillibrand was one of the most vocal advocates in the senate’s paid parental leave campaign. He gave the Duchess numbers for Susan Collins (senator for Maine) and Shelley Moore Capito(senator for West Virginia).

Moore Capito, 67, told Politico: ‘I’m in my car. I’m driving. It says that caller ID has been blocked.

She said that she expected Joe Manchin to answer the phone, the other senator from West Virginia. Manchin, a moderate Democrat has been leading the charge for Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill. He has made concessions to progressives and persuaded moderate Republicans like Moore Capito into agreeing. 

Moore Capito said, “Honestly, it was Senator Manchin.” 

‘His calls come back blocked. 

“And she goes?Sen. Capito? 

‘I said yes. 

“She said, “This is Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.” 

Moore Capito said, “I couldn’t figure how she got mine number.”

Collins stated that she was also called by the 40 year-old.

Susan Collins, Republican senator for Maine, was also called by Markle. She said: 'I told her there were a lot of different approaches, and people were working on it'

Markle also called Susan Collins, Republican senator from Maine, She said, “I told her there were many different approaches, and people were still working on it.” 

After quitting the royal family in 2020 and moving to Los Angeles, Markle expressed her amusement at Markle’s use of her British title to lobby U.S. senators.  

Collins said, “Much to my surprise she called me on the private line and introduced herself to me as the Duchess Sussex, which is kinda ironic.” 

She told Politico that she was happy to speak with her, but that she is more interested in hearing what Maineans have to say about paid time off.

Collins later told The New York Times: ‘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.’ 

Biden had initially hoped to push through plans for a 12-week paid family and medical leave program, costing $500 billion over 10 years.  

The benefit fell from 12 to 4 weeks to $2 trillion, from $3.5 trillion. This was in order to reach an agreement with Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate Democrat. 

Gillibrand stated Wednesday that she had given Markle’s numbers to senators. She said it was only the beginning. 

Gillibrand stated that she spoke to each of the female senators and let them all know that Gillibrand was going to reach out to them because she had only completed two calls. 

“She’s going call other people, so I let them be aware in advance. 

Gillibrand added: ‘She wants to be part of a working group to work on paid leave long term and she’s going to be. 

“Whether this comes to fruition today or later, she’ll join a group of women who hopefully will work together on paid leave.”  

Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat senator for New York, has said she handed out Collins and Moore Capito's phone numbers to Markle to call. Gillibrand is one of the most vocal champions of paid parental leave

Kirsten Gillibrand is a Democrat senator from New York. She claimed that she gave Moore Capito and Collins’ phone numbers to Markle to contact. Gillibrand is a vocal advocate for paid parental leave.

Markle’s latest intervention stokes speculation that she may see herself in a political role in the future, much like her heroines Angelina Jolie & Amal Clooney.

Some even speculated that she could be thinking about running for political office – or even the presidency, according online hype. 

Markle wrote in her October 20 letter: “I’m no elected official, and I don’t want to be a politician.” 

“I am writing you at this crucial time – as a mother – to advocate to receive paid leave. 

Pelosi and Schumer were asked to read the extraordinary 1,030-word-long letter and consider her plea ‘on my behalf of my family Archie and Lili and Harry’. 

Markle, pictured above with Prince Harry and her first born Archie, made a rare political statement on Wednesday

Markle, pictured with Prince Harry and her firstborn Archie, made a rare political declaration on Wednesday 

The duchess spoke out about her humble beginnings and said that her family was struggling when she was a child. This despite her well-documented middle-class upbringing in which she attended private primary school and secondary schools with her Emmy-winning lighting director father’s salary of $200,000 a year.  

And she now lives in a $14million sprawling mansion in Montecito, California, complete with designer touches. She also signed lucrative deals with Spotify, Netflix and other companies that are estimated to be worth well above $150 million. 

Markle wrote that he grew up eating Sizzler’s $4.99 salad bars. 

“I knew how hard my parents worked in order to afford this because, even at five dollars, eating out was something special and I felt lucky. I began working at the local frozen yogurt shop when I was 13.

Markle said, “I waited tables and babysat, and then I piecemealed jobs together for odds and ends.”

However, she failed to mention the $750,000 California state lottery win her father scooped in 1990, which funded her secondary education at $9,412-a-semester Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles.  

Meghan also attended a private primary school, Hollywood’s Little Red Schoolhouse nursery. This was her first school since she was two years old.

The primary school is now priced between $20,000 and $28,300 per-year and was paid for entirely by the taxpayers.Her father Thomas and her airline pilot mother Doria were paid their salaries.  

She went on to study at Northwestern, a college in Illinois, that would have cost $24,000-$28,000-a-year for tuition when Meghan studied there from 1999-2003.

The duchess, however, described her work at 13 years old and worked several jobs ‘to cover odds’. She also wrote that saving money was a luxuary in her family’s life. 

“I worked my whole life and saved whenever and wherever I could. But even that was a luxury. It was all about making ends meets and having enough money to pay my rent, and my car gas.

She continued, “I assume many of your constituents will have their own version,”

Meghan lived in a series of childhood homes in Los Angeles – including a second-floor apartment on Providencia Street, in Woodland Hills, where she lived with her parents and half-siblings Thomas Jr and Samantha.  

Meghan lived on the property from the age of two until it was sold. It was the largest and flashiest home she ever lived in as a child.  

Meghan lived in a series of childhood homes in Los Angeles - including a second-floor apartment on Providencia Street, in Woodland Hills

Meghan lived in a number of childhood homes in Los Angeles, including a second-floor apartment at Providencia Street in Woodland Hills.

After her parents divorced in 1983, Meghan and her mother Doria moved into a top-floor apartment (pictured) in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of LA

After her parents divorced in 1983 Meghan and Doria moved into a top-floor apartment in Los Angeles’ Mid-Wilshire neighborhood.

Meghan lived in different humble abodes growing up, but received a private education from kindergarten until high school. She attended Immaculate Heart High School (pictured) on Franklin Ave in Los Angeles from the age of 11 up to 18

Meghan grew up in humble homes, but she received a private education from kindergarten through high school. From the age of 11 to 18, she attended Immaculate Heart High School on Franklin Ave in Los Angeles.

She attended a prestigious private nursery and kindergarten school called Little Red Schoolhouse, pictured, which cost $18,800 a year for kindergarten

She attended a prestigious private kindergarten and nursery school called Little Red Schoolhouse. It cost $18,800 per year for kindergarten.

Meghan Markle offered fans a rare glimpse inside the Californian mansion she shares with Prince Harry today during a 'special message' shared on her 40th birthday

Meghan Markle gave fans a rare look inside the Californian home she shares with Prince Harry today in a’special message” shared on her 40th Birthday

In her letter, Meghan acknowledged that she has not suffered the same struggles as many parents who don’t have paid leave. 

She said, “In June, my husband, and I welcomed our second baby.” 

We were happy, just like any parent. We were overwhelmed like many parents. We were overwhelmed, like many parents. 

After the birth in June of their daughter Lilibet, Meghan & Harry were able four months of family leave. They then went back to work in September. 

After having Archie in 2019, the duchess was able to take some time off, staying at home for four more months before returning to work. 

According to reports, the couple also employed nannies in the UK to care for their children. They fired many of them after Archie was born in 2019. 

Their first nanny was fired because she was allegedly unprofessional and the second was only working night shifts. Reports at the time claimed that their nanny had returned to the UK after they had traveled to the U.S. to avoid the pandemic. 

Meghan and Harry are pictured with their newborn son Archie at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019

Meghan and Harry are pictured together with their newborn son Archie, at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019.

The duchess went on to detail her humble beginnings. 'I grew up on the $4.99 salad bar at Sizzler,' she said

The duchess continued to describe her humble beginnings. She stated, “I grew-up on the $4.99 salad bar at Sizzler,”

Meghan and Harry are seen in September during a visit to New York City. The pair went to the One World Observatory, with a camera crew in tow

Harry and Meghan were photographed in September, during a visit of New York City. With a camera crew, the couple went to One World Observatory.

Meghan attacked the American economic system.  

“Many of the economic systems in America are past their expiration dates, and too many Americans are forced into making poor decisions about what is most important to them. 

A Meghan spokesperson said that Meghan cares deeply about families around the world and advocates for them in the US. She had also partnered with three campaign organisations on the issue. 

She followed up her letter with a October 30 donation to Paid Leave US (an activist group).

Neil Sroka, director of communications for the organization, was elected to. Twitterto write: “The Duchess (aka #MeghanMarkle), bought everyone at @PaidLeaveUS some coffee while we’re working overtime on #SavePaidLeave. 

Markle, pictured at her home in California, was hailed 'classy' after buying coffee for employees working overtime to campaign for paid family and medical leave in the US after writing to politicians pleading for it to be made a 'national right'

Markle, pictured at her home in California, was hailed ‘classy’ after buying coffee for employees working overtime to campaign for paid family and medical leave in the US after writing to politicians pleading for it to be made a ‘national right’

The Duchess of Sussex gifted workers at PL+US, a group running a national campaign to win paid family and medical leave by 2022, a $25 Starbucks voucher through her non-profit Archewell

The Duchess of Sussex gave a $25 Starbucks voucher to workers at PL+US. This group is running a national campaign for paid family and medical leave by 2022.

“Unbelievably classy… and essential.” Truly honored to know that she has our backs in this fight to win’. 

Online, the gesture received mixed reactions. Some said it made a huge difference and others called it pathetic. Others suggested that the act might be a publicity stunt. 

The Duchess is the latest to enter the parental leave debate.

The couple moved to LA in March 2020 and were seen volunteering at a food bank within the month.

Markle and her husband spoke out about race and policing in June as protests broke down against George Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020. This was something they had previously avoided.

Markle stated that on July 14, Markle told UN 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit, “You are organizing Black Lives Matter protests all over the globe, you are creating films for your peers to be activist leaders, and you are reforming criminal justice. You are telling your school boards that we need more mental healthcare resources for all ages. You are leading coalitions to end gun crime. 

“You are standing up and asking to be heard, but you also want to own the conversation.” 

A slice of happy family life: Sitting next to grandmother Jeanette, 12-year-old Meghan tucks into a cake at her cousin Donovan’s birthday party in 1993

A slice of happy family: Meghan, 12, eats a cake at Donovan’s 1993 birthday party.

Meghan on her 11th birthday with her mother Doria in 1992, seen in pictures kept by her uncle Joseph Johnson

Meghan celebrating her 11th birthday in 1992 with her mother Doria. Photos taken by her uncle Joseph Johnson

They also continued to talk about mental health.

On October 14, 2010, Meghan in a podcast reflected on being ‘the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female’ of 2019 and the ‘almost unsurvivable’ impact that had on her psyche.

She said that you have two options: either you can try to break through, or you can possibly break down. 

“But, use it to break through.

As the November 2020 election approached, they encouraged people to vote. Harry stunned many by admitting that he hadn’t voted before.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke out about the U.S. election, in a stark break with British tradition that prohibits royal involvement in politics

In stark contrast to British tradition, which prohibits royal involvement with politics, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke out on the U.S. election.

Harry said ahead of the election: 'As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity'

Harry stated before the election that ‘it’s vital that as we approach November, we reject hate speech and misinformation online negativity’

Harry met Markle who was a UN advocate to gender equality and women empowerment. Markle was more open with her views. 

“Every four years, we hear the same thing: “This is the most important electoral election of our lifetime.” But this one is,’ she said to Time magazine prior to the election. 

“When we vote, our values and voices are put into practice.” 

Gloria Steinem, feminist icon and activist, was hosted at her Montecito residence for a conversation filmed in collaboration with Makers, a media company that aims to “accelerating the women’s movement through stories from real-life experiences.” 

Markle and Steinem talked about the importance and benefits of voting. They also urged for a more open discussion regarding issues of race or power. 

Markle disclosed that she had miscarried a month prior to Christmas. There was a lot of grief and praise for Markle. 

She gave birth in June to Lilibet, their second baby.

Markle has returned to politics in recent months, visiting New York in Sept and attending meetings at U.N. before speaking at Global Citizen Live, an annual festival of activism in Central Park. 

Markle (left) joined Gloria Steinem for a 'backyard chat' ahead of the election

Markle (left) met Gloria Steinem for a “backyard chat” ahead of the election

She is set to appear on November 9 at an online conference organized by the New York Times to discuss ‘women reaching economic and professional parity.’ 

The mother-of-2 will be present in a half hour session called “Minding the Gap” alongside Mellody Hobson is Co-C.E.O. Mellody Hobson, Co-C.E.O., President, Ariel Investments and the chairwoman at Starbucks Corporation.

The session is described as “two groundbreaking figures” who will share their views. 

“How can women achieve economic and professional parity?” The blurb states that two pioneering figures will join us to discuss top down solutions and reflect on their shared experiences in creating opportunities for others. 

Other speakers at the conference include Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, as well as the CEO for Pfizer Albert Bourla and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple.

Other stars include Matthew McConaughey (with whom Prince Harry did an explosive interview for his Armchair Expert podcast) and Dax Schephard (with whom Prince Harry spoke).   

Meghan Markle’s 1030 word paid parental leave plea letter is in full 

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer,

I’m not an elected official. I’m also not a politician. Like many others, I am an engaged citizen and parent.

Your congressional colleagues and you have a role to play in shaping family outcomes for generations. That’s why I’m writing to your congressmen at this crucial time – as mom – to advocate paid parental leave.

Over the past two years, the pandemic exposed long-standing fault lines within our communities. Millions of women are leaving the workforce at alarming levels, choosing to stay home with their children, or take care of loved ones full-time, as schools and daycares close. The parent or working mom is faced with the choice of being present, or being paid. It is not easy to choose between the two. 

Many believe that this sacrifice extends back beyond the past 20 month; it’s 20-30 or more years, even longer. Decades of giving time, energy and effort not just to pursue the American dream, but to simply achieve stability.

I grew to love the Sizzler salad bar for $4.99. It may have cost less, but I remember the feeling. I knew how hard my parents worked because eating out at five dollars was something special. As a Girl Scout, I remember going to the same salad bar or The Old Spaghetti Factory whenever my troop went out for dinner. It was because that’s what my families could afford.

I began working at the local frozen yogurt shop when I was 13. I worked as a waitress, babysitter, and did other odd jobs to make ends meet. I worked all my adult life and saved whenever and wherever I could. But even that was a luxury. It was usually about making ends meets and having enough to pay my rent, and my car gas.

I’m sure many of your constituents have their version of this story. Perhaps you do too. People in this country work hard, but the demand is soft. They want a level playing ground to achieve their version a common dream. This means that everyone has to be treated equally and fairly. Many of our economic systems are beyond their expiration dates, and many Americans are forced into making poor decisions about what is important to themselves.

My husband and I welcomed our second baby in June. As parents, we were thrilled. We were overwhelmed like many parents. We weren’t faced with the difficult reality of spending those first critical months with our baby or going to work. We knew we could take her home and, in that crucial (and sacred) stage of our lives, give everything to our children and our family. We knew we could do this without having to make difficult decisions about childcare, work, medical care, and other issues that many face every day.

These decisions should not be made by a family. A family shouldn’t have to choose between earning their living or taking care of their child (or loved one) as they would with a comprehensive paid time plan. 

By taking care for your child, you also take care to your community and your country. Paid leave is a right. We are creating a foundation that addresses mental health outcomes and health care costs. As it stands now, the country is spending a lot of money on symptoms and not causes. It’s understandable that people may find it easy to be apathetic with all the happenings in Washington D.C., and then again, when you feel like your voice doesn’t matter, you tend not to use it as often. But with stakes so high, none of us can afford to let apathy win.

I am writing to you on behalf of millions of American families, who are using their voices and arguing that comprehensive paid leaves should not be an area for compromise or negotiation. Most countries already have policies regarding paid leave. Estonia offers more than a year and half of parental leave that can be shared with new parents. Many other countries offer robust programs that allow parents (adoptive or birth) to spend months at their child’s home. The United States, however, does not provide any guaranteed paid leave. One in four workers has not received paid family leave from their employer. I think you’ll agree that we cannot continue to be exceptional if we want to be an exception.

Your leadership is vital for the families you represent. With paid leave poised to become a national reality in the near future, I hope you will rise to the occasion. I know you need to hear from your constituents on the choices they face every day to make ends meets and care for their families. 

Paid leave should not be a fringe benefit that is only available to those whose employers have policies or those who reside in one of the few states with a leave program. Let’s ensure that every American has access to a strong, paid leave program that is guaranteed, accessible, and encourages without stigma or penalty if we want to create a new era in family-first policies.

I know how politically charged things can – and have – become. But it’s not about right or left. It’s about right versus wrong. This is about putting family above politics. It’s a refreshing change that we all seem to agree upon. In a time where everything feels so divided, let us all agree on this shared goal.

As such, my family, Archie, Lili and Harry, thank you for considering the letter. And on behalf all families, I ask that you keep this important moment from being lost.

As ever, 

Meghan, The Duchess