The Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched the @SussexRoyal Instagram account in April, parting ways from their joint page with Prince William and Kate Middleton

By Stephanie Petit
July 16, 2019 12:52 PM

All eyes are on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry — and their recently launched Instagram account means they have a whole new platform to give voice to their favorite causes.

Time magazine released its fifth annual roundup of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet on Tuesday, and it’s no surprise that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the list.

Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, launched the @SussexRoyal Instagram account in April, coinciding with their move from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Castle (as well as the separation of their formerly shared office with Prince William and Kate Middleton). The social media page broke records by acquiring 1 million followers in just six hours — and its follower count is now 9.1 million.

“While baby photos are among @SussexRoyal’s draws, most posts are dedicated to the pair’s work as royals,” writes Time‘s Raisa Bruner. “Each month, in an effort to highlight advocates and organizations focusing on issues such as climate change and mental health awareness, the account rotates the users it follows—a savvy strategy that has driven headlines.”

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She continues, “The Sussexes’ forward-thinking, cause-oriented approach to social media fits neatly with other ways they are establishing their identity beyond the crown.”

Meghan Markle, Archie and Prince Harry
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Jada Pinkett Smith, Korean boy band BTS and Ariana Grande are among Time‘s list of top influencers online.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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Meghan also made the shortlist for Time‘s annual Person of the Year in 2018. As Time‘s website explains, the Person of the Year seeks to recognize “the person or group of people who most influenced the news and the world—for better or for worse—during the past year.”

“Since the wedding, she has worn the right clothes and sat in the right way, with her legs crossed at the ankles instead of at the knees,” according to Time‘s Diana Evans. “According to a recent YouGov survey, Prince Harry is now the most popular member of the royal family, and his new wife likely has something to do with the broadening of his appeal.”

Evans also notes that Meghan made headlines for being the first biracial member of the modern royal family, her charity work and her proud stance as a feminist.

Meghan Markle

“Despite the firm matriarchal icons of the monarchy such as Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria, women lower down the ranking who exercise their own singular power have not fared well in majesty; it is not part of the fairy tale,” she writes. “By their nature, fairy tales deem women passive and neutral, which is why Diana Spencer became an affront, even an aberration, to the monarchy once she fully embraced her power.”

“Since Kate Middleton married Prince William, we have seen her diminish from a figure capable, in the eyes of the media, of modernizing the royal family to a woman defined (again, at the hands of the media, over which she has no control) by her womb and her wardrobe,” Evans continues. “For royal brides there is one easy way to be royal, and that is to be slender, smiling, unopinionated and obedient to the machine. Anything else and you’re a Fergie or a Diana, which is much more interesting (and less dangerous) for the young girls watching, but ultimately lacking in longevity. Will Markle fare better? Or is there a chance that she will simply become another quiet royal waif, swallowed whole into luxury and impartiality, her dresses more important than her voice? Let’s hope not.”

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