In Brief

Kate Middleton vs. Meghan Markle ‘rivalry’ sparks online threats

Kensington Palace turns to social media companies for help battling trolls

Kensington Palace staff are waging an escalating war against internet trolls who are posting vicious comments about Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, according to reports.

The two women have faced sexist and racist abuse on social media, including a handful of violent threats, and rival fans have also turned on each other, reports Hello! magazine. 

Neither of the duchesses have individual public social media accounts, but photographs of the Royals are posted on Kensington Palace’s Instagram and Twitter feeds, with nearly nine million followers combined.

A source told Hello! that while the majority of comments were positive, palace staff were spending “a lot of hours”  every week moderating abusive messages.

“It follows a Kate vs. Meghan narrative and some of the worst stuff is between Kate fans and Meghan fans,” said the source. “Arguments about who looks more appropriate, for example, that turn into personal attacks on other users.”

Hello! royal correspondent Emily Nash reports that an increasing number of insulting messages are also being posted under photos of the two royals  on the magazine’s own social media accounts.

“Kate has been called ‘boring’ and, when Meghan made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards, our moderators had to disable comments on an Instagram post and delete more than 500, because the debate became so abusive,” Nash writes.

Meghan has been accused of faking her pregnancy to get attention, while rows between rival fans has seen one telling another to “drink bleach”.

Under a video of Prince Harry and Meghan, another troll wrote: “Soon it will be me who is next to Harry and Megssy will be gone.” The message ended with six kitchen knife emojis.

“A joke in poor taste perhaps, rather than a direct threat,” says The Times. “But other posts that accused the duchess of bleaching her skin to look whiter and made references to ‘the ghetto’ were harder to laugh off.”

Kensington Palace has appealed to Instagram and Twitter for help to deal with the insults, says the newspaper.

The Daily Express notes that the online war “comes amid ongoing reports of a rift between the royal wives”.

“Parents-to-be Meghan and Harry sparked speculation of a falling-out with the Cambridges when they revealed plans to move away from Kensington Palace,” the paper adds.

The Palace has made no comment on the rift rumours.

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