Being a public figure has its ups and downs. Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, and Wallis Simpson were some of the members of the royal family who experienced the bad side of the press. Meghan Markle is now experiencing it too, and she perhaps suffers more as this modern era brought us Twitter, Instagram, and other social media that help the public spread hatred and negativity toward people.
It became too much when people started abusing Meghan on the official Kensington Palace Twitter and Instagram accounts, and the royal family had to instruct people how to behave on social media, and they even said how they would involve the police if the abuse continues.
Meghan is now eight months pregnant, and she should be focusing on relaxing and preparing herself for the big day. An insider shared with Hello! Magazine, ‘’The Palace has always monitored comments, but it’s a hugely time-consuming thing.” The magazine organized a #HelloToKindness campaign to promote positivity. “They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious. Over last year, with hundreds of thousands of comments, there were two or three that were violent threats. You can delete and report and block people, and the police have options around particular people. It’s something you have to manage because there’s no other way to control it.”
Meghan deleted all her social media accounts after her engagement with Prince Harry, and she revealed in October how not being on social media felt “freeing,” as “flattery and criticism run through the same filter.” However, there were some reports that she had a secret Instagram account to stay in touch with her friends, but that didn’t last very long. “It really got to her and, in the end, she had to shut down that account just before Christmas, too, to protect her mental health. She felt very isolated and alone,” shared an insider with The Sun. “Harry has fed into this—he’s hugely protective and doesn’t want her to be put at any risk so that understandable worry has made her very uneasy,” The Sun’s insider continued. “There is no way she’d consider putting her personal safety and that of her unborn child at risk.”
The rumored feud between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle also put people in different teams on Twitter, and people would argue online as Team Meghan” versus “Team Kate.” The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles was also the victim of online abuse.
Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla was Prince Charles’ girlfriend before he married Princess Diana. However, Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced after Diana found out that he and Camilla were having an affair. Camilla later became Prince Charles’ wife, and years later, Camilla is receiving insults on social media.
Sarah Ferguson is one of the few members of the royal family (she is Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, the Duke of York) who has a social media account that she is running herself. “It’s time to confront head on the fact that much of social media has become a sewer,” Sarah Ferguson wrote for Hello!, endorsing the #HelloToKindness campaign. “I’m on Twitter and Instagram, and I’m grateful for the fact that they allow me to communicate directly with people who are interested, promote my charitable causes and let people read my own words rather than someone else’s slant on them. But the truth is, a lot about these sites terrifies me. I rarely if ever go ‘below the line’ on social media or news websites and read people’s comments. I know that a lot say nice things, but there’s a large minority who seem to think that all the normal rules of society don’t apply to the internet.”
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— Sarah Ferguson (@SarahTheDuchess) February 20, 2019
She mentioned Kate and Meghan. “Women, in particular, are constantly pitted against and compared with each other in a way that reminds me of how people tried to portray Diana and me all the time as rivals, which is something neither of us ever really felt. People feel licensed to say things online that they would never dream of saying to someone’s face, and that encourages others to pile in. It’s so ubiquitous that we’ve all become numb to what’s going on. There is good evidence that this online culture is having a detrimental impact on people’s mental health, particularly vulnerable young people.
Sarah further wrote, “I believe that it’s time to take a stand. This isn’t about freedom of speech. The truth is, it’s not acceptable to post abuse or threats on social media or news sites, and it’s not acceptable to harangue other users simply because they disagree with you. It’s not acceptable to pit women against one another all the time. It’s not acceptable to troll other people viciously online.”
The rumors of the feud between Kate and Meghan started when it was announced that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry would move to Frogmore Cottage to raise their child. “It’s a practical streamlining of communication and efficiency,” Jo Bryant an etiquette expert commented on them moving away. Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey shared, ‘’They’re still very close as brothers. There’s no big severing here. It’s just the idea, I think, that the Sussexes need their unit to look after them, rather than Harry kind of plus-one-ing with the other two.”
Kate Middleton and Prince William were a target of the online and press negativity just because they were, and still, are, leading a normal life, trying to be private about their lives as much as possible. People were mad because they aren’t as accessible to the photographers, and because they don’t go out as often as other celebrities are. Still, they were praised for the way that they are, with of some people stating that that is a way a future King of England should behave.
Meghan and Kate seem to have a good relationship. During the 50th anniversary of Prince Charles‘ investiture, both Kate and Meghan attended the event, and they seemed like they very much respect each other. Since nothing you do can please the public, especially if you are a public figure, Meghan and Prince Harry can continue to do whatever they like, as they did so far, and not think about the public scrutiny. The same goes for the rest of the royal family members.