Prince Harry has urged Americans to "reject hate speech" and vote in the country's upcoming presidential election - despite the expectation for royals to remain politically neutral.
The Duke of Sussex and his wife, Megan Markle, made the comments in a live, televised broadcast as part of the Time 100, a list compiled by Time magazine in celebration of the world's most influential people.
"As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity," the Duke of Sussex said in the broadcast.
He also encouraged Americans to be selective in the content they consume online.
"When the bad outweighs the good, for many, whether we realise it or not, it erodes our ability to have compassion and our ability to put ourself in someone else's shoes," he said.
"Because when one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially. It's time to not only reflect but act."
Although Harry's comments did not explicitly reference a particular party or presidential candidate, commentators have noted his overt references to accusations typically levelled at the Trump administration.
Calling out "hate speech, misinformation and online negativity" - with Trump's tweets frequently flagged by Twitter for violating its policies - has led to the Duke's message being widely interpreted as politically biased, BBC News royal correspondent Sarah Campbell acknowledged in an analysis.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday (local time), the President addressed the Sussexes' comments with a bizarre attack on the couple.
"I'm not a fan of [Markle], and would say this... I wish a lot of luck to Harry, because he's gonna need it," Trump responded when a reporter questioned him about the Duchess.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the couple said the Duke's comments did not refer to "any specific political party or candidate". The representative said the remarks were instead "a call for decency in how we engage with each other, interact, and consume information - especially online".
The video message marks the Sussexes' first joint televised appearance since the couple officially stepped back as senior members of the Royal Family in March. The Duke and Duchess are no longer considered working royals since they effectively resigned from royal duties in a bid for financial independence.
The US presidential election is scheduled for November 3. Incumbent President and Republican candidate Donald Trump is competing to remain in office for a second term against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Markle called the upcoming election the "most important election of our lifetime".
"When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you matter because you do and you deserve to be heard," she said in the video.
Harry, 36, said he would not be voting in the election as he is not a US citizen. He added that as a member of the Royal Family, he'd also never participated in UK elections as royals are expected to remain politically neutral.
Although UK law does not prohibit royalty from voting, members of the Royal Family traditionally do not participate in elections as their vote is considered unconstitutional.
"They are not carrying out public duties, live abroad and are really completely detached from our monarchical system now so what difference would it make?" royal biographer Robert Jobson told BBC News, noting that Markle holds American citizenship and had previously voted in elections.
"The business about royals not getting involved in politics is less clear when it comes to Meghan or what the protocol should be in this case... I am sure many would think it wrong that she is not allowed to exercise her democratic right to vote."
Former Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker said Harry should have refrained from weighing in on the US election as he is still a "representative" of the UK, BBC News reports.
"We would not comment," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told local media.
"The duke is not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity."