The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have reportedly abandoned social media as they focus on their new roles in the US.
Harry and Meghan, who amassed more than 10 million followers on their official royal Instagram account, are said to have become disillusioned by the “hate” they encountered online.
The Sunday Times reported that the couple, who stepped down as senior royals last year, had no plans to use social media for their non-profit organisation, Archewell, and were very unlikely to return to the sites in a personal capacity.
It comes after days of criticism of social media companies for giving a platform to Donald Trump, the US president who was suspended from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram indefinitely last week after inciting a mob who raided the US Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday.
Harry and Meghan’s primary social media account was @sussexroyal on Instagram, which has 10.4 million followers but has not posted any new content since March 2020.
The couple agreed not to use the word “royal” in their branding from spring last year as they began new, more financially independent roles in the US.
Meghan has previously spoken about the “almost unsurvivable” toll of online abuse and said she was the most trolled person in the world in 2019. Appearing on the Teenager Therapy podcast in October last year, she said: “I’m told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female. Now, eight months of that I wasn’t even visible, I was on maternity leave or with a baby.
“But what was able to just be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable, that’s so big, you can’t think of what that feels like, because 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.”
Archewell, which they founded last year, does not have an official social media presence. Its aim, according to its website, is to “unleash the power of compassion to drive systemic cultural change” by non-profit work and “creative activations through the business verticals of audio and production”.
The couple have signed multi-year, multimillion-pound deals with Spotify and Netflix, with plans to produce a podcast series and documentaries.
The apparent breakaway from social media comes a year after an official statement on the Sussex Royal website said the pair would continue to use those sites in their new roles.
It said: “Yes, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to have a social media platform. They look forward to continuing their use of social media and believe that their updated media approach will enable them to share more, with you, directly.”