Here’s What You Now Won’t Be Able To Write On The Official Royal Social Media Channels

The royal family has issued new guidelines to tackle trolling and inappropriate comments

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

Defamatory comments will no longer be tolerated on the royal family’s official social media accounts, new guidelines revealed yesterday. The official advice comes after Kate Middleton and pregnant Meghan Markle have been subject to extensive trolling, with some supporters of each duchess even deciding to hurl insults at each other on social media following tabloid speculation that the sisters-in-law are rivals.

The guidelines apply to all social media channels run by The Royal Family, Clarence House and Kensington Palace, and they state that comments can’t ‘contain spam, be defamatory of any person, deceive others, be obscene, offensive, threatening, abusive, hateful, inflammatory or promote sexually explicit material or violence’ or ‘promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.’ Comments also can’t be ‘off-topic, irrelevant or unintelligible’ or ‘contain any advertising or promote any services.’ They say the guidelines are now in place ‘to create an environment where our community can engage safely in debate and is free to make comments, questions and suggestions’ and pleads for users to show ‘courtesy, kindness and respect for all other members.’

The release ends with a warning that those who breach the practices could be referred to the police. “We reserve the right to hide or delete comments made on our channels, as well as block users who do not follow these guidelines,” it reads. “We also reserve the right to send any comments we deem appropriate to law enforcement authorities for investigation as we feel necessary or is required by law.”

In January, The Guardian reported that royal staff had seeked guidance from social media firms about online abuse, as they were reportedly spending hours deleting posts. Most of the vitriolic comments happen on the Kensington Palace Instagram account, which has 7.1million followers, as neither Kate or Meghan have their own accounts. Meghan deleted her accounts and her blog, The Tig, after her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told Vogue after the guidelines were released: "Our accounts now attract some comments that are highly inappropriate or threatening – most often towards other commentators.”

In other news, today, the pair celebrated the 50th anniversary of Prince Charles's service to Wales. The Duchesses were joined by their husbands and the Queen at Buckingham Palace for their first joint engagement since the annual Christmas Day Sandringham church service.

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