I tend to not put much stock in polls which try to determine royal popularity. The data always feels skewed, even if there is “good news” for the royals we actually like. It also feels like the British media is overly reliant on these make-believe polls, which often read like manipulated data to promote a sexist, racist agenda. That being said, it was nice to see that the Duchess of Sussex did “win” one recent poll to determine the “most popular royal.” But, again, the data is questionable and that kind of sh-t doesn’t really matter. Here’s some data that actually makes sense though: Omid Scobie at Harper’s Bazaar has an exclusive about Twitter trends and royals. Guess who comes out ahead?
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s decision to step back from their royal roles captured the world’s attention earlier this year, and nine months later, their new lives in the United States as full-time philanthropists and nonprofit founders has continued to intrigue and inspire millions. In fact, Meghan was the most tweeted-about member of the royal family in 2020, closely followed by Harry and Queen Elizabeth, respectively, BAZAAR.com can reveal.
In a year that has seen interest in the House of Windsor surge, thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official departure in March, as well as the recent release of The Crown’s fourth season, more than 20 million tweets around the world were written about royal family members—a rise of more than 30 percent from the previous year, according to official data shared by Twitter, Inc. The social media platform currently has more than 330 million active monthly users in over 180 countries.
The data shared exclusively with BAZAAR sees Meghan and Harry taking the top two spots by a landslide. The duchess’s newly found freedom, steady stream of meaningful appearances, and candid conversations, including her emotional New York Times essay last month on losing a baby, saw Meghan at the center of more Twitter conversations than any other royal.
Harry’s popularity in the United Kingdom may have reportedly taken a hit due to his decision to prioritize the well-being of his family over royal duty, but the duke received overwhelming online support throughout the year, including from the military community in October after attempts from British tabloids tried to discredit his contributions to veterans. Joint efforts from the Sussexes to amplify the voices of numerous social activists and support Black Lives Matter (a global movement that no other royal acknowledged) also saw universal praise for the couple, who are yet to have an official presence on Twitter.
There’s tons of additional analysis and data: the Queen came in third for most-tweeted, even though she was largely absent from public view during the pandemic (and when we did see her, she was maskless). Then Princess Diana was fourth, mostly because of the late surge of interest because of The Crown. Then Prince Charles was #5, because of The Crown and because of his bout of coronavirus. Prince Andrew was #6, because of a year full of controversy following the death of Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – the future king and future queen who exiled Harry and Meghan so that they (W&K) could get more attention – came in seventh and eighth. Because they’re boring and terrible, I guess.
Honestly though, let’s be real: while Meghan makes news whenever she does anything, she truly has some of the most unhinged haters in the world, and none of those people can take her name out of their mouths. She trended so high because people love her and she’s incredibly popular… and because people love to “hate” her too.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, WENN.