Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are redefining the way the royal family engages with social media. The couple made the decision to separate their royal house from Kensington Palace a few months ago in an effort to have more control of their own charitable causes, not to mention forging a new identity. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been looking for new ways to support their charities that feel more natural to them both. So when you read that Markle and Prince Harry unfollowed everyone on Instagram, you have to know they aren't doing it because they are throwing some sort of royal tantrum — they are using their social media as a platform for change.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are both extremely dedicated to the charities they support; in fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that their philanthropic attitudes were one of the things that drew them together prior to their May 2018 royal wedding in the first place. As members of the royal family they have causes they are expected to support, but neither Markle nor Prince Harry seem especially interested in simply showing up for a photo opportunity. They both want to get involved on a different level, which is why they chose to unfollow everyone on Instagram — a sure way to get people to sit up and take notice and think about who is their "force for change."
On Thursday, Aug. 1, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared an official message on their Instagram page @sussexroyal, where they explained why they have unfollowed everyone in an effort to find new accounts to follow who "highlight various causes, people or organisations doing amazing things for their communities and the world at large."
"Over the next few days please add your suggestions into the comments section: someone you look up to, the organisation doing amazing work that we should all be following, an account that inspires you to be and do better (or that simply makes you feel good), or the handle that brims with optimism for a brighter tomorrow," they wrote on Instagram.
The royal couple are planning to select 15 new accounts to follow next Monday.
This isn't the first time Markle in particular has made an effort to find new ways to support her charitable causes that feel meaningful. In 2018, for instance, she co-authored a bestselling cookbook called Together: Our Community Cookbook to support the Hubb Community Kitchen, which was lost in the Grenfell Tower fire. And more recently, according to Harper's Bazaar, Markle announced on Wednesday that she is helping to launch a new design collection to support Smart Works, a charity that helps women get back into the workforce. Markle is working with British designers to come up with office-ready pieces, and for every item purchased one item will be donated to a woman in need.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are proving that there is no one perfect way to be a force for change. They do this by simply staying focused on helping people in ways that feel natural to them.