A Royal Instagram Mystery – The New York Times


To wit, the day before Meghan first appeared on @KensingtonRoyal in November 2017, the account gained 981 followers, bringing its audience to just under 2.27 million. The day Meghan’s engagement was announced (her debut appearance on the account), it gained 104,092.

It kept gaining, steadily and in occasional frenzied bursts. Over the three-day period that consisted of Meghan and Harry’s wedding weekend in May 2018, plus the Monday morning release of their nuptial portraits, @KensingtonRoyal acquired more than 1.5 million new followers. In the period after Meghan was effectively incorporated into @KensingtonRoyal, that account’s following more than tripled in size.

For the remainder of 2018, the two couples surfaced on their single account smiling radiantly — or, on the prescribed days, staring off in solemn remembrance — in an easy rhythm. The impression was of companions casually interspersed throughout one another’s lives, locked in a perpetual couple’s staycation behind the walls of their shared palace, with participants slipping out now and then to pursue their philanthropic passions.

In 2019, however, Harry and Meghan began a process of gradual separation.

They extricated themselves from their joint “royal household” arrangement with William and Kate, moving their administrative offices out of Kensington Palace, and hiring new staff. They formed a charitable foundation separate from the one William and Harry had founded in 2009, which had been the locus of both couples’ philanthropic efforts. And, most visibly, on April 2, they introduced a stand-alone Instagram account.

Though Meghan was by no means a global star before her marriage, she had maintained an active and successful personal Instagram account, its profile buoyed by her regular role on a moderately popular American cable legal drama. That account boasted around 2 million followers before its deletion following her engagement (not far from the approximately 2.27 million followers @KensingtonRoyal had when the engagement was announced).

From its very first post, Harry and Meghan’s new Sussex account was distinct from @KensingtonRoyal — and seemed unmistakably the work of an Instagram veteran. It established a signature color palette (royal blue) and typography (a hybrid of caps-locked roman and lowercase italics). These kinds of personalized elements were absent from @KensingtonRoyal.


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