Since their wedding in May 2018, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have approached a number of royal duties in an alternative way to the rest of Royal Family. Including how they support charities and use their social media platforms.
Over the past eight months, Meghan and Harry have chosen between 9 and 12 charities a month to champion on Instagram. The innovative idea, which is unlike anything other members of the Royal Family have previously done, emerged during a meeting that the new parents were a part of.
“One of the ideas that came up in a brainstorm that both Harry and Meghan were involved in was to follow a different group of charities every month, giving small grassroots-led initiatives a platform to really promote themselves to the world and be noticed by the world,” royal reporter Omid Scobie tells Yahoo UK.
“Harry and Meghan were so hands on in the beginning of the Sussex Royal Instagram account. They looked at a different colour palette to chose the exact royal blue for their banner and their logo. It was Meghan’s idea to have white borders on all of their photos. She even knew about Instagram algorithms,” he adds.
Two of the charities the couple followed have been Sal’s Shoes, run by CJ Bowry from Surrey, and 52 Lives, run by Jaime Thurston from Berkshire.
Neither of the founders expected the royal follow and have praised Meghan and Harry for “showing us a huge hand of support”.
They didn’t get an email, or letter and haven’t met either the Duke or Duchess but tell Yahoo UK the simple action of a follow on Instagram has left to hundreds of new social media followers and lots more international awareness.
Sal’s Shoes is a small charity that collects new or used shoes to give to children who can’t afford to buy their own.
“I started Sal Shoes with one bag full of my younger son’s outgrown but not outworn shoes,” says Bowry.
“Fast-forward six years and we’ve now found new feet for over a million and a half pairs of shoes in over 44 countries around the world.”
52 Lives changes someone’s life every week of the year. “We spread kindness,” says Thurston.
“It can be anything from providing funds so somebody can buy a wheelchair - it’s literally whatever the person needs. A lot of the people we help are going through really difficult times and some are feeling quite isolated.”