It was the post liked round the internet last week as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (a.k.a. Harry and Meghan) made their independent Instagram debut. Up until then, the new-parents-to-be had been sharing a Kensington Palace account with Wills and Kate, and their decision to cut ties is…well…just one of the many reasons why Instagram has made for some pretty juicy royal watching recently. Here, a guide to must-follow accounts.
Who: Meghan and Harry (and maybe their baby)
Read between the snaps: The Sussex’s decision to go solo on Instagram lines up with the narrative that all is not so peachy between the “Fab Four,” or at least that Harry and Meghan are keen to build their brand as a duo…soon to be trio. Is it possible the new parents will break from royal tradition and debut their new arrival on this account? You bet your bamboo sleep set it is! And when that happens, expect their already huge follower count (they broke the world record after cracking one million followers in just under six hours) to surpass that of Kate and Wills.
Who: Wills, Kate and the kids
At first glance: It’s hard to say what lays ahead now that the awesome foursome are no moresome—at least on social media. The account’s new profile pic (updated last week) features Kate and Wills and the kids looking like they stepped out of a Crate & Barrel catalogue.
Read between the snaps: If you’re following the English tabloids you know that the Cambridges are going through a bloody bad time. Whether the whole Turnip Toffs drama is true or not, it can’t be easy to play the perfect family in public (or on social media) in the middle of all this stress. The latest pic—announcing that William has spent that last three weeks training to be a spy or something—smells like a diversion tactic.
Who: Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley
At first glance: Mostly aspirational garden photos, which is fitting for the woman at the centre of aforementioned rural rivalry. Have Hanbury (Kate’s friend) and Prince William actually been hooking up for the last several months? Hard to say. But it’s definitely a drama the tabs aren’t going to drop.
Read between the snaps: From a gossip perspective, this account is worth watching mostly to see if it disappears in the next few days.
At first glance: A lot of redheads.
Who: James Middleton
At first glance: So. Many. Canines. Kate’s younger brother loves pups more than most royals love a good fox hunt, which may explain his decision to live in the hound-friendly Scottish countryside. Or maybe it’s his love of fresh produce and farm animals.
Read between the snaps: Following this account feels like the royal Instagram viewers’ version of self care. Shortly after taking his account public he wrote this candid essay about his mental health struggles for the Daily Mail. His efforts to bust stigma are almost as impressive as his beard selfies. Almost.
Who: Queen Elizabeth
At first glance: Technically this is the account for the entire royal family, though QE2 did post a snap back in March, of a letter to her great grandfather Prince Albert, marking her first Insta appearance.
Read between the snaps: Fans of The Crown know that progress has always been a challenge for the royal family in general, and for Lizzy in particular. Her emergence as low-key Instagram influencer feels like a nod to the Markle-ization of the royal family.
Who: Lady Kitty Spencer
At first glance: Princess Diana’s niece saw her Insta following spike from 17,000 to half a million in a single night. Of course, that night was the royal wedding where she made a bunch of best dressed lists (including ours!) in green Dolce & Gabbana. The fashion model/activist/professional party attendee posts snaps from her (absurdly) dolce vita.
Read between the snaps: A lot of dating rumours, pretty much any time she posts a photo with a man (including her sister’s boyfriend).
Who: Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
What you see: Fergie and Andrew’s eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice, has been dating the millionaire property developer since back in September. Apparently the courtship has been moving quickly: he’s met her parents, they’ve done the red carpet at the National Portrait Gallery and Bea has made them Instragram-official on her account, but…
Read between the snaps: Bea has yet to appear on her beau’s account, which feels like a pretty significant step in millennial dating rituals. Given that wedding rumours are swirling, a couple’s selfie feels like the least he could do.
Who: Princess Eugenie
At first glance: A lot of adorable family throwbacks (#TBT), plus exclusive snaps from the 2018 royal wedding (the other one).
Read between the snaps: Not much tea spilled via this account. Unless your brand of scuttlebutt is sisterly love and Fergie’s former haircuts.