No longer a family affair. Prince Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan, recently unfollowed several accounts on Instagram, including members of their royal brood, but the social media cleanse was not done with ill intentions.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex explained their decision to cut their following list down to just 16 in a post on Wednesday, May 1. “May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the US and May 13-19 is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK,” the duo captioned a collage of empowering images. “To pay tribute to all of the incredible work people across the globe are doing in this space, we are hoping to shine a light on several Instagram accounts that promote mental well-being, mental fitness, body positivity, self-care, and the importance of human connection — to not just hear each other, but to listen.”
Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, are no longer following Kensington Royal, which is Duchess Kate and Prince William’s account, Clarence House, which belongs to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, cousin Princess Eugenie and uncle Prince Andrew, or the official Royal Family page, which features updates on Queen Elizabeth II. The pair — who are awaiting the birth of their first child — are now solely following the profiles of global mental health resources and charities.
“There are countless organisations doing amazing work for mental health — please consider the accounts we’ve highlighted as a small snapshot of this global support network,” the couple continued. “We are all in this together. We invite you to explore the extraordinary stories of strength, and the commitment to kindness as seen in the above accounts. Each month we will honour this same concept and change the accounts we solely follow based on a different theme or cause. Please go to our homepage and click ‘following’ to see each of the select accounts and find out more about their work.”
Last month, the Duke of Sussex met with mental health organizations and warned young people that social media “is more addictive than alcohol and drugs” and is incredibly dangerous because “it’s normalized and there are no restrictions to it.”
Days later, it was announced that the duke is cocreating a docuseries about mental illness, which will premiere on the new Apple TV+ streaming service in 2020. “I truly believe that good mental health — mental fitness — is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self,” Harry said in a statement at on April 10. “It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times.”
The royal also noted his wishes for the show: “Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive — sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better.”
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