Man Claims Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Stole His Instagram Handle as the Royal Couple Set World Record

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex depart from Birkenhead Town Hall on January 14, 2019 in Birkenhead, England. Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images

Is a case of royal thievery afoot? Kevin Keiley claims that is exactly what happened when Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan allegedly commandeered his Instagram handle for their own use.

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Keiley claimed to Radio 1 Newsbeat on Thursday, April 4, that he discovered his account had been taken for the royal couple’s new social media venture when they greeted the platform for the first time on Tuesday, April 2.

“I got a jokey text from my son, which said, ‘Ha ha, I see your handle has gone then,’” he said. “I thought, ‘What’s that all about?’ He said, ‘Look on Instagram,’ so I looked on Instagram and suddenly my handle wasn’t @sussexroyal anymore. It was @_sussexroyal_. … It had been taken.”

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Keiley admitted he was “flattered” but “annoyed” by the move, especially since no one from Instagram or the royal family contacted him beforehand.

According to the 55-year-old Brit, he used @sussexroyal as his account name for three years for a few personal reasons. First, he is a fan of the Reading FC soccer team, nicknamed the Royals. He also resides in West Sussex.

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Instagram confirmed to Radio 1 Newsbeat that they changed the driving instructor’s account, though the company insisted that the move was in line with a policy which allows it to do so if an account has been inactive for some time.

Keiley noted that he will most likely return to the platform eventually. However, he confessed: “I don’t think I’ll be following the royals.”

Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, have dominated Instagram in the days since they joined. The parents-to-be broke a world record by reaching 3 million followers in just one day.

“We look forward to sharing the work that drives us, the causes we support, important announcements, and the opportunity to shine a light on key issues,” the pair wrote in their first post on Tuesday. “We thank you for your support, and welcome you to @sussexroyal.”

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