The Duchess of Cambridge is officially the most popular female royal on Instagram, at least when it comes to hashtags. However, when it comes to royal couples, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle edge out the future King and Queen of the United Kingdom.
There was a bit of a notable war when it came to Instagram and the British royals, specifically between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. When the now California-based couple launched their Instagram account Sussex Royal, it briefly held the record for the fastest growing account.
As Harry and Meghan’s account grew, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s account (KensingtonPalace and now the DukeandDuchessofCambridge) grew in tandem. Various fans of the two royal couples made it a competition to see which royal would come out ahead.
Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, generally came out ahead.
But when Harry and Meghan decided to step away from royal life in January 2020, the couple lost control over their Instagram account. As a result, though they have no official social media presence, they still remain one of the most hash-tagged royal couples.
According to Printique, the Harry and Meghan have generated roughly 2.4 million hashtags, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the second spot at 2.2 million. In third place is the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with 1.4 million hashtags.
However, when it comes to individual royal ladies, the Duchess of Cambridge outpaced her sister-in-law.
The Duchess of Cambridge generates 1.3 hashtags on her own.
Though royal influence can’t entirely be measured by the size of an Instagram following, after all footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has 376 million followers compared to Kate and William’s 13.2 million, but it is a measure of influence and demonstrates how the royals are reaching out to the younger generations.
Utilizing Instagram is a great way to reach a larger audience and has become one of the keyways that the royals communicate and engage with the public.
The young tech savvy royals are really able to put their own stamp on their brand by curating their content in a way that the Queen, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and even the late Princess Diana were unable to do, since they were all essentially at the mercy of the tabloids.
Coming into the royal family pretty familiar with the platform, Meghan Markle quickly made her mark on Sussex Royal, with a very specific color scheme and branding like black and white photographs.
The Cambridge’s are also upping their social media game, with the visit to Pakistan in 2019 being a fabulous example of how they can use their team to create a powerful and regal image to the public. (The picture of them from behind as they arrived in the country was especially impressive and on point.)
However, there is a flip side to this as well.
Since social media gives the public more insight into life inside the palace walls, they are also able to make their true feelings known as well.
After Megxit, Harry and Meghan famously turned off all of their Instagram comments, which had taken a decisively negative tone after the announcement.
Before the Instagram accounts split between the couple, royal supporters were also making rather abusive comments at times on the various social media platforms based on whether they were Team Cambridge or Team Sussex.
But that’s the price that royals have to pay. To maintain their positions of influence, royals are at the mercy of public opinion.
While the Sussex duo may have more hashtags dedicated to them, the percentage that are negative would probably edge out those that are positive.