Why Did Meghan Markle Just Delete Her Social Media Accounts?

Farewell, dear friends

Head over to Meghan Markle’s Instagram page, previously home to over 2000 posts and a legion of three million followers, and you’ll be greeted with this: Sorry, this page isn’t available. Similar fates have befallen her Facebook and Twitter pages.

So what’s the reason behind the abrupt shuttering of her social media presence? It’s a little something known as the royal wedding.

Members of Great Britain’s royal family do not have personal social media accounts, instead preferring for any and all updates to be disseminated via official channels, which are handled by their social media staff. For the latest cute pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, for example, you’d have to head over to @KensingtonRoyal, where the Instagram page reads: “Photos and videos direct from Kensington Palace about the work and activities of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.” Come May 2018, this will no doubt be updated to include Markle—or perhaps the new royal couple will get an account of their own?

Since the engagement announcement, Markle has been featured regularly on the @KensingtonRoyal account, and though the shuttering of her own accounts might come as a shock to some, she has been slowly preparing us for her social media disappearance for several months now. She shut down her lifestyle blog The Tig in April 2017, which was also the time of her final Instagram post. Her last tweet, too, was sent out last spring.

It might be protocol for key members of the British royal family to communicate via official social media channels only, but if Markle and Prince Harry have proved anything with their relationship so far, it’s their ability to flout convention. They’re not PDA-averse; Markle is the first American divorcee to enter the royal family; and Prince Harry issued a heartfelt request for Markle’s privacy back when they weren’t even engaged. Oh, and they did release an extra “candid” engagement photo in addition to the usually mandated two.

But perhaps this is the one rule they’re both happy to oblige. Princes William and Harry have both spoken out in the past about the dangers of social media, with the latter saying last October that, “People are spending far too much time online and it’s like a mental running machine that they can’t get off. You wouldn’t put your body through such a workout. I’m the last person to say ban it but people are suffering from mental fatigue and getting burnt out. We all need to talk to each other more.”

At least maintaining her own social media profile is one less thing the future princess has to worry about.