Meghan and Kate fan wars reignite after Sussexes call on Instagram users

The Sussex’s invitation comes in the fourth month of their project to unfollow and refollow accounts on Instagram to raise awareness of their favourite issues. Themes until now have included mental health, LGBT pride and the environment.  Yesterday, they published a new post saying: “We want to know who YOUR Force for Change is….  The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Insiders had feared the launch of a separate social account for the Sussexes would only embolden #TeamKate and #TeamMeghan camps.In March, the Royal Family published rules for followers of its online channels, warning that anyone who posts offensive comments will be blocked or reported to the police in the wake of escalating abuse. Meghan's "Forces For Change" Vogue cover The Duke and Duchess of SussexCredit:Mark Cuthbert When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex invited their 9.2million Instagram followers to nominate their own “Forces for Change”, they no doubt hoped to learn more about worthy charities and social media influencers that could fit with their brand.Instead, the first day of their charity drive descended into controversy after they inadvertently offered a platform for warring fans of the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex. The SussexRoyal Instagram feed was taken over by rival camps of admirers, with nominations for the “Duchess of Cambridge”, “Kate Middleton”, and “the future Queen” inspiring offensive comments about both Duchesses. Other comments were heavily dominated by followers purporting to be from Russia, and a selection of charities and “influencers” who had instructed their well-meaning fans to write on the royal online feed. The post had received more than 20,000 comments in its first 12 hours, more than any other work-related post since the account opened, with hundreds of small organisations and unsung volunteers amid the negativity.  A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex declined to comment on whether staff would be monitoring or deleting inappropriate messages. Meghan’s “Forces For Change” Vogue coverCredit:PA “Over the next few days please add your suggestions into the comments section: someone you look up to, the organisation doing amazing work that we should all be following, an account that inspires you to be and do better (or that simply makes you feel good), or the handle that brims with optimism for a brighter tomorrow. “We will choose 15 accounts and follow them next Monday, as we spend the month of August acknowledging the Forces for Change in all of our lives.”A typical response, each followed by a barrage of insults from fans of each Duchess who view them as rivals, read:  “Catherine, Duchesse of Cambridge, who behaves with royal dignity at all times, and does not preach at her subjects.”The post reignited the serious challenge faced by aides, who have previously had to dedicate hours to cleaning up racist, sexist and unkind messages from Instagram posts with the help of the platform.  read more