A fake website campaigning for Meghan Markle to become president of the United States has appeared online this week using pictures of the Duchess of Sussex with mottos like “together, we will lead”.
The site called Meghanforpresident.com, however, appears to ben encouraging people to spoil their ballets - meaning they would not count towards the 2020 US presidential election.
The site has been called “obviously fake” by a source close to the couple but it may concern Meghan that it encourages voters to write her name on their ballot papers.
“It’s obviously fake. I would encourage people not to give it more attention than it deserves – especially as it’s collecting people’s email addresses and encouraging people to spoil ballots,” a source has said.
In a blog post about ‘write-in candidates’, the site shares this advice from the US government website: “Besides the names on your ballot, you may be able to write in names of other candidates. Most states let you write in votes for president, U.S. senator, and U.S. representative. They may also allow write-in votes for governor and other state offices.
“Check with your state election office to find out the rules for your state. If you check using your state’s election website, enter “write-in candidates” in the search bar.”
It would allow people to show support for Meghan as a candidate, but it would be unlikely that with no campaigning she would garner the votes needed to be elected.
While the duchess has been vocal in encouraging people to vote, she has avoided naming any specific candidate she may be backing.
Another blog posted on the website at the end of September, pretending to be Meghan, says: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, I have heard your calls to become President of the United States of America.
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few months, that I feel prepared to make this decision. With your support I believe we can bring equality, empowerment, and kindness to this dangerous, aggressive and confrontational world we live in.
“I look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
The blog mimics the language Meghan, 39, and husband Prince Harry, 36, used when they announced their decision to step back from their senior royal roles.
Meghan’s foray into the political world since she and Harry moved to California has drawn attention and criticism in the UK, with polls suggesting people believe they should have to give up their royal titles.
She addressed some of the criticism by saying: “If you listen to what I actually say it’s not controversial.”
While she has not yet made any announcement to run herself, it is constitutionally possible for her to run and she qualifies based on US requirements.
Bookmakers offered odds of 50/1 for her to run in the 2024 election.
Additional reporting by Rebecca Taylor, royal correspondent.