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7 strict rules the royal family have to follow on social media

The Princess of Wales and other working royals adhere to specific codes of conduct when posting online.

Millie Jackson
Freelance Writer
3 May 2024
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The British royals certainly are a modern family, and just like the rest of us they have accounts across social media. However, unlike us, The Firm must follow strict rules about their online presence. 

Social media platforms like Instagram have become a new way for royal fans to keep up to date with the various duties, official engagements and milestones of the working royals, namely King Charles and Queen Camilla, the Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. The main account has over 13 million followers. 

Princess Kate and Prince William also have an impressive following, with their account @princeandprincessofwales having 16 million followers. Yesterday they shared a sweet photograph of Princess Charlotte taken by her mum, to mark her ninth birthday.  

Princess Charlotte's ninth birthday photo, taken in Windsor© The Princess of Wales
Princess Charlotte on her ninth birthday

So how does the royal family navigate being online? Read on for the strict set of rules accounts must follow... 

Official duties only 

While you might expect a celebrity or an influencer to share snaps when they jet off on beautiful holidays, it's strictly business for King Charles and the working royals, who will only share photographs from official engagements or occasions.

William and Kate shared a previously unseen portrait from their wedding day© Millie Pilkington
William and Kate shared a previously unseen portrait from their wedding day

Careful tagging 

Take a scroll down the royal feed and you'll spot that only verified groups, companies and charities are tagged. Following the King and Princess Kate's cancer diagnoses, the royal account has collaborated with Macmillan and Cancer Research UK to spread awareness. Individuals won't be tagged, but are often named in captions. 

No sponsorship 

It can be hard to tell the difference between an ad and a normal post on many social media accounts, but the royal family is prohibited from engaging in promotional or commercial activities, so you won't see them tagging their outfits or products. 

Trevor Cooke, the privacy expert at Earthweb, revealed: "The Royal Family's official website explicitly states that members of the Royal Family are not allowed to promote or endorse any product, service, or company. This restriction aims to uphold the impartiality and integrity of the monarchy, preventing any perception of favouritism or commercial influence." 

No selfies 

Generally speaking, royals politely decline photographs as they are often focused on an engagement when out in public, and in their working capacity. The times when you will see them in a selfie is when they've accidentally photobombed one. In the spirit of goodwill, royals can bend the rules. Most recently, Princess Kate posed with a staff worker during her visit to youth charity, Streets of Growth, in east London in September 2023. 

The Princess of Wales poses for a selfie during her visit at Streets of Growth in September 2023© Getty
The Princess of Wales poses for a selfie during her visit at Streets of Growth in September 2023

Impartiality is key

It's well-known that royals must remain impartial at all times, to safeguard against any monarch using their influence to sway political opinion or laws. According to the UK parliament website: "Although not prohibited by law, it is considered unconstitutional for the monarch to vote in an election." 

The monarch welcomed the Prime Minister to Buckingham Palace in October 2022. Rishi Sunak told the King "the country is behind you", following his cancer diagnosis© Getty
The monarch welcomed the Prime Minister to Buckingham Palace in October 2022. Rishi Sunak told the King "the country is behind you", following his cancer diagnosis

On the royal family's official site, His Majesty's unbiased role in Parliament is explained further. As Head of State, the King is expected to "remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters" and "does not vote or stand for election". This is why you'll never hear the King or members of the royal family airing their political views in public or on social media. 

No personal accounts 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had the account @sussexroyal. Now, the Duchess of Sussex has used Instagram to launch her new lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, as they are no longer working royals and not bound to the same rules. 

READ: Meghan Markle sends first American Riviera Orchard product to friends


"Royals are often prohibited from taking photographs in certain sensitive or private locations, for example, inside royal residences. This restriction is in place to protect the royal family's privacy and security and prevent unauthorised access to sensitive areas," notes Trevor. 

However, there are occasions where the public are allowed a glimpse inside residences, when family portraits are shared or during lockdown when working royals did Zoom calls from home. 


WATCH: Look inside the royal residences

Commenting on the restrictions royals face on social media, Trevor emphasises, "Members of the royal family must tread carefully on social media, balancing their personal interests with their responsibilities to the monarchy." 


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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