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Anne Widdecombe Has An Issue With Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Supporting LGBT Rights

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have promised to make LGBT rights a priority (after the royal wedding next month, of course).

Speaking to young activists at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting last week, Markle said that LGBT issues were about ‘basic human rights’ while Prince Harry was quoted as saying he would be putting LGBT issues at the forefront of his work. Many welcomed the couple's comments and commitment to pursuing such an important cause, and the significance of both Harry and Markle making such a promise at a Commonwealth event while same-sex relations are still considered illegal in 36 out of the 53 Commonwealth member states, didn't go unnoticed.

However, despite their progressive efforts to support the type of social causes that royals, once upon a time, would typically not publicly comment on generally being so well received, former conservative MP Ann Widecombe takes real issue with it.

Writing in her column for the Daily Express, Widecombe said: ‘My doubts [with Meghan Markle] had grown when reports appeared in the press how she and Harry were going to champion the rights of the LGBT community’.

Widecombe went on to explain her ‘doubts’ and claimed that ‘first, royals don’t champion “rights”: they champion plights. That is what Diana did with victims of Aids and landmines and very effective she was too. Rights are the business of politicians and pressure groups and never more so than when they are controversial’.

'Second, what a week for any royal to join in the argument when the Commonwealth conference was in full swing, the position of Prince Charles as its future head was in delicate negotiation and some of its bishops were voicing concern about their countries being pressurised by Theresa May on the issue of LGBT rights. So nought out of 10 for both phraseology and timing.'

Widdecombe has a history of not actively supporting the rights of the LGBT+ community and in her career reportedly opposed legislation such as civil partnerships, gay partners being able to adopt and the Equality Act. While a contestant on the latest season of Celebrity Big Brother, Widdecombe also made comments about how Meghan Markle's 'background' was a real cause for concern.

While Harry and Markle's commitment may have come as a shock to some less-pliable traditionalists, their willingness to be proactive in their royal duties is one of the key reasons why people across the world are excited to see how they may help to push for some much needed societal progress. Next to Widdecombe's backlog of comments, their promise to champion the rights of the LGBT community doesn't sound controversial in the slightest.

MORE: Retracing Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Relationship Timeline