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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Had Hour-Long Video Call with California Governor Gavin Newsom

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had a special call with Governor Gavin Newsom of California just weeks before the presidential election.

The couple was invited to the "introductory meeting" by Newsom and it took place in October.

Despite claims to the contrary, it was not a political call, those close to the couple say. It was a get-to-know-you social call in the months after Harry and Meghan had settled into their new home in Montecito.  

As two well-known new arrivals to the state, Governor Newsom is said to have wanted to welcome them to California, a close insider tells PEOPLE.

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Some papers have fastened onto the meeting as further evidence of the couple's political interests. As members of the royal family, Harry and Meghan have to be careful about appearing to be involved in politics. As head of state, Queen Elizabeth — and her immediate family — have to remain above party politics both at home and abroad, so as not to conflict with that neutrality. The Queen's family, including Harry, 36, usually stays away from voting too.

In September, Harry raised eyebrows back in the U.K. and among palace insiders when he spoke about "rejecting hate speech and online negativity" in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election. The palace distanced itself from the prince saying his comments were "private" as he was no longer a working member of the royal family.

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During the couple's video chat to celebrate TIME magazine's annual list of the world's most influential people, Meghan, 39, urged voter registration in the election. She voted in the presidential election in November, PEOPLE confirmed.

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