Almost a year after stepping down as senior royals, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have reportedly turned their backs on social media for good.
Prince Harry and Meghan‘s popular Instagram account @SussexRoyal, on which the couple garnered 10 million followers as working royals, has been inactive since March. Now, a source close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has told The Times of London that they are “very unlikely” to return to it as they have “no plans” of using social media, both, on a personal level, and in affiliation to their philanthropic organization Archewell Foundation. Prince Harry and Meghan’s reluctance to have an online presence is being chalked up to the “hate” they have been met with on social media, according to the source.
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While the Sussex Royal Instagram account had been a major part of Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal lives, the couple have been vocal about the pitfalls of social media. In October 2020, Meghan even revealed the reason why she has avoided social media and may never return to it. In a virtual interview with Fortune for its “Most Powerful Next Gen Summit,” the Duchess of Sussex talked about her “personal choice” to not have any social media accounts, the reason being self-preservation.
“For my own self-preservation, I have not been on social media for a very long time,” she said. “I had a personal account years ago, which I closed down and then we had one through the institution and our office that was in the UK that wasn’t managed by us —that was a whole team — and so I think that comes with the territory for the job you have.”
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She has also opened up about about the “almost unsurvivable” online abuse she has faced since being married into the royal family. Appearing on the Teenager Therapy podcast, Meghan shared her personal experiences with trolling. “In 2019, I was the most trolled person in the entire world – male or female,” began the Duchess. “[For] eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible, I was on maternity leave with the baby. But what was able to be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable, it’s so big you can’t even think what that feels like,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re 15 or 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging.”
While Prince Harry remarked that it is “very easy to be sucked in and consumed by negativity”, and that everyone has “the choice to be able to cut that out of our lives.” He added: “Hate following has become a thing, you don’t need to do that. Just as much as we worry about, be concerned, and take notice of what we put in our bellies as a diet, the same applies for our eyes and our mind, what we’re consuming is affecting us.”