When you marry into the royal family, you know you're about to become a public figure for the rest of your life. But what you probably don't expect is the incessant criticism that comes from the internet. Every photo, every interview, every breath is analyzed and scrutinized by people who don't even know you, and there doesn't seem to be an end.
This could not be more true for two of the most publicized members of the royal family, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. The women, married to Prince William and Prince Harry respectively, are constant targets for cyber-bullying through social media pages, even though neither duchess actually reads social media.
When Harry and Meghan first began dating, the palace made a rare statement condemning the harsh comments directed towards the Suits actress.
[Harry's girlfriend,] Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public "” the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments [...]
Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.
Things seemed to die down after that statement, but after Markle's father couldn't stay out of the headlines, and the news of a royal baby on the way, the bullying began to pick back up again. It also seems that people are quicker to jump on Middleton as well, with many commenting on how she's not aging as well as she used to.
While these comments may seem a little bit below the pay grade of the royal family, they're actually not. In fact, the palace monitors these comment son a daily basis, and the increasing amount of them has started to concern staffers.
"The palace has always monitored comments, but it's a hugely time consuming thing," an insider told Hello! Magazine. "They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious. Over the course of last year, with hundreds of thousands of comments, there were two or three that were violent threats. You can delete and report and block people and the police have options around particular people. It's something you have to manage because there's no other way to control it."
From the sounds of it, it's becoming a full-time job to make sure that people are playing nice on the social media pages.
"A lot of hours are being spent reviewing old material and moderating comments under posts," the insider said. "It follows a Kate vs Meghan narrative and some of the worst stuff is between Kate fans and Meghan fans. Arguments about who looks more appropriate, for example, that turn into personal attacks on other users. It's creating a supercharged atmosphere and everyone can join in, but what are the consequences of this?"
Like the insider mentioned, it's not just about comments directed at the royals. They're also monitoring fights that break out between users. Things can get extremely out of hand, and someone has to go through and delete the nasty comments as they happen.
At the end of the day, these two women don't deserve the harsh criticism they're getting, and those who are leaving the comments should really take a look at their life choices.
[H/T: Hello! Magazine]