Sky News reports breathlessly on the scandal that is Meghan Markle getting abused on social media. My immediate thought is why are members of the royal family using social media? The entire point of the royals is they are not like the plebs, they exist – in theory anyway – on a higher plane. That’s why they get to live in a palace. So what the hell is this?
Earlier this month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex created their own Instagram account, under the name SussexRoyal. It features professional photographs of their work and has already amassed over four million followers.
However, it has attracted criticism online and some people attacked its branding, which appeared to feature an ‘M’ with a tiara above it.
Yes, famous people will attract nutters wherever they go, and this is especially true for the royals. This is why their public life is carefully managed, or at least it was. Opening an Instagram account is the equivalent of turning up unannounced on the terraces at the local football ground.
An account with over 14,000 followers almost exclusively posts criticism of Meghan, sharing negative news articles and conspiracy theories.
Since when have royals anywhere in any era not been the subject of gossip, speculation, and conspiracy theories by the masses? That’s part of their role, I thought. The difference is that in previous eras they would have risen above it, remaining unaware or at least indifferent to what the peasants were saying about them. My advice to Mr and Mrs Wales is to do the same thing now.
Message boards 4chan and 8chan were found to host orchestrated attacks against Meghan. The sites allow users to post anonymously – without needing to create an account or even pick a username – thus eliminating any threat of accountability.
I’m pretty sure Meghan Markle doesn’t use 4chan, so what Sky are complaining about is that people can get together and say bad things about her. Twenty years ago these conversations would have taken place in a pub, equally anonymously for all practical purposes. Now things have shifted online, but the thing which has really changed is the royals have decided to wade into the social media sewer. As the name suggests, it’s not for the likes of them. They cannot claim a divine right to a life of taxpayer-funded privilege while at the same time demand to be treated equally by the plebs if they’re silly enough to get down among them. The royals need to stay off social media, or quit being royals. Otherwise they might find it’s not just trolls on the internet who take a disliking to them.