There’s no denying that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have a special kind of appeal. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appear more approachable than other royals.
They’re also very vocal in championing the causes they care about, from wildlife preservation to mental health issues.
Since getting married, the couple has set themselves apart in the way they interact with the public. Harry grew up with a tremendous example of how approachability can change — he learned it all from his mother, the late Princess Diana. With Meghan on board, the couple is setting their own path and doing an amazing job of it.
That hard work is now being recognized.
Time released its fifth annual roundup of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet. Harry and Meghan were honored on the list. The piece discusses Harry and Meghan’s Instagram account, Sussex Royal. It explains how they use the account as a place to champion their causes and keep fans up to date on their family.
Many people thought it was controversial when news broke that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to strike out on their own.
Earlier this year, the couple separated their living situation from Prince William and Kate Middleton by moving to Frogmore Cottage. They even set up their own Instagram account, Sussex Royal.
In just three short months, the couple has made quite the splash with this account. It amassed over a million followers in the first six hours and has over 9 million currently. So far, the account has been used to document a lot of the duke and duchess’s work with various organizations.
It also served as the place to get up-to-date information on Baby Sussex as fans anxiously awaited his arrival. When news outlets first began announcing that Meghan was in labor, it was only a short time before the couple used the account to announce the baby’s birth.
The account has also shown Meghan easing her way back into her royal duties. The duchess has been on maternity leave since the account was created, but she has been making more appearances in the last few weeks.
Fans have also been treated to some never-before-seen photos of the beloved couple. One of these photos was from their 2017 trip to Africa, where they outfitted elephants with satellite collars. It was included in a post about their work with the African Parks Network (now simply African Parks), of which Harry is president.
The insight into their personal lives and their favorite causes has earned the couple recognition. Harry and Meghan have been named to Time‘s fifth annual list of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet, in which their new Instagram account has been highlighted.
In the couple’s blurb on the list, writer Raisa Bruner noted how their move for an independent Instagram account felt like an opportunity for the public to get an inside look at the British royal family (a “notoriously tight-knit institution”).
She also wrote, “While baby photos are among @SussexRoyal’s draws, most posts are dedicated to the pair’s work as royals.” Indeed, no discussion of the Sussex’s Instagram would be complete without noting how Archie’s arrival gave them quite the adorable boost.
Raisa also discussed the strategy behind the account. Most notable is Harry and Meghan’s monthly highlight of a cause. “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,” she explained. This month, the couple highlighted environmental issues.
The account’s content is just another way that Harry and Meghan have found the ability to carve out their family’s identity amid that of the greater royal family. “The Sussexes’ forward-thinking, cause-oriented approach to social media fits neatly with other ways they are establishing their identity beyond the crown,” Raisa wrote.
This isn’t the first time that Meghan Markle has been noticed by Time. The Duchess of Sussex also made the shortlist for Person of the Year in 2018. The article noted that Meghan may have actually boosted Harry’s profile, since she brings a fresh perspective to the royal family.
“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,” the profile of Meghan explained. The profile also explained how by just being herself, she brought an air of modernization and progress to the family.
Meghan and Harry are in the midst of a new stage of their lives. They’re coming into their own not only as royals but as parents as well. The world is eager to see how Archie’s upbringing might differ from that of his cousins, who are higher up in the line of succession.
We’ll see the family in action for the very first time this fall, when Harry, Meghan, and Archie embark on their royal tour of South Africa. The choice for their first royal tour as a family of three goes to show that Meghan and Harry are keeping true to their causes and setting out to make meaningful change.