In 2018, as things were getting serious with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle closed down her personal Twitter and Instagram. But that hasn't stopped trolls. After the trolling and criticism against the British royal family and specifically Meghan reached particularly high levels, Kensington Palace took the unprecedented step of establishing a new code of conduct for interacting with the royals on social media earlier this year.
Explicitly, these new rules state that no one will “be defamatory of any person, deceive others, be obscene, offensive, threatening, abusive, hateful, inflammatory or promote sexually explicit material or violence.” Nor are they allowed to “promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.” It's a big step—and one that seems necessary, given that Twitter has struggled with trolls in the past and is only now beginning to catch up.
Earlier this year, Harry and Meghan started an account on Instagram, but noticeably stayed away from Twitter entirely. Will that always be the case, or are there plans to eventually expand to the platform now that the Royal Family has new measures in place?
Meghan doesn't go on social media at all these days.
Speaking on a discussion panel in March, Meghan said she's off social media entirely. "I don't read anything, it's much safer that way,” she said. “But equally that's just my own personal preference, because I think positive or negative, it can all start to just feel like noise to a certain extent these days." We know that Prince Harry used to have secret social media accounts, and it is rumored that he does sometimes read the news—which is one of the reasons why the Sussexes prioritize their security online. The Sussexes even sued Splash News after they took intrusive helicopter pictures of the couple's Oxfordshire home and sold them to online publications.
The Sussexes do have an Instagram account.
This is the account where they post all official photos (like Archie's christening!) and notices about engagements:
And there's been speculation that Meghan does, occasionally, post comments as herself (although officially the account won't ever specify). When the account wishes other royals congrats or happy birthday, emojis are sometimes used. And eagle-eyed fans have also spotted that sometimes the spelling on posts will be American English, sometime British English.
But royal reporter Omid Scobie says that there are still no plans for the Sussexes to open a Twitter account. According to him, they feel more "protected" (especially now that they're parents) on Instagram, which has a robust system to combat trolls and is working to make it even stronger.
There are still no plans for the Sussexes to open a Twitter account and, tbh, I don’t think they need to right now. With better cyberbullying measures in place, I can understand why they feel more protected being #OnlyOnInstragram — especially when baby photos are concerned.— Omid Scobie (@scobie) May 12, 2019
That seems like a pretty big choice for the Sussexes to make, and it makes sense—they're very focused on their security.
Their foundation may have a Twitter—but no word yet.
The Sussexes just announced their Sussex Royal foundation (which is the same title as their Instagram, so it's VERY on-brand). This may be a way for them to engage on the platform in a less personal way, although it won't stop trolls and might force them to make liberal use of the mute button.
Furthermore, the Kate Middleton and Prince William/formerly Fab Four charity The Royal Foundation didn't have its own Twitter. The Cambridges would just post Royal Foundation updates on the Kensington Royal Twitter:
The Royal Foundation unites people to help tackle society's biggest challenges, including mental health, the armed forces, wildlife and young people. Find out more: https://t.co/Lue4pJy8HQ— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 28, 2018
So the Sussexes may stay away from Twitter entirely for now, but as the Sussex foundation begins to get off the ground, there may be a flurry of new social media activity. TBD.
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