Have Prince William and Kate Middleton been ‘cheating’ to gain more followers than Meghan and Harry on Instagram?

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince William and Kate Middleton could be ‘cheating’ to get more followers than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on social media.

  • While Harry and Meghan’s SussexRoyal account was predicted to overtake Kensington Royal, experts have been surprised that it hasn’t.
  • A New York Times investigation has looked at potential options as to why Kate and Will remain on top.
  • This follows royal news that the Queen just did something really special in honour of her grandson Prince Harry.

Harry and Meghan created their account, Sussex Royal, back in April 2, 2019 – little over a month before Archie was born.

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They were so popular on Instagram that they set a Guinness world record for being the fast account to reach one million followers, in 5 hours and 45 minutes (they have since been beaten by Jennifer Aniston).

Back then, their social media success led many to predict they would overtake William and Kate’s follower count, as pointed out by New York Times’ Caity Weaver.

'Tabloid writers and royal reporters began to forecast the moment that @SussexRoyal’s follower count would overtake @KensingtonRoyal’s, thus crowning Harry and Meghan the definitive winners of an unofficial couples’ popularity contest', she wrote in her investigation.

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However, despite a series of big announcements from the couple, the numbers never materialised – apart from during a short period at the end of January.

Credit: Getty

'Every day, without exception, from April 2, 2019, until Jan 21, 2020 - through Guinness world record growth, the birth of Harry and Meghan’s baby Archie, and the seismic rupture that was their public departure from royal life - the size of Harry and Meghan’s Instagram audience failed to exceed that of William and Kate’s,' Weaver wrote.

'On Jan. 21, 2020, there was a breakthrough:@SussexRoyal, at last, surpassed @KensingtonRoyal’s follower lead — two weeks after the Sussexes’ semi-departure from the royal family.

'Yet on Feb. 17, it regained its follower lead, propelling itself past @SussexRoyal.' Buy why?

One of the scenarios explored in the investigations suggests possible manipulation, either through bots or by the platform – by the Kensington Royal account, or an external party.

'It is also possible to use bots to inflate social media accounts even if you are not the owner. Anyone can buy bots on behalf of anyone else, or send them to an account with which they have no affiliation', the article adds.

Other possible explanations included the suggestion that perhaps the Kensington Royal is given better placement on Instagram’s “Who To Follow” list; or that fans simply follow Kate and Wills’ account more.

Currently both accounts have the same number of followers – 11.2k – so we’ll see what happens next…

Mariana Cerqueira
Lifestyle Editor

Mariana is a lifestyle writer who has written for Goodto.com and My Imperfect Life. She joined the Goodto.com team as an intern after completing her journalism MA at City University. After six months spent writing about food, celebrity news, and family trends, Mariana left to write for Healthy Food magazine - but returned in 2017, to join the Future team once again. In her spare time, you’ll find Mariana in the kitchen cooking for her friends.