April 5, 2019

The record-breaking royal Instagram account was stolen from a different kind of royal

Instagram took over the Instagram account of a 55-year-old driving instructor and gave it to Britain’s royal couple.

Yesterday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new Instagram account, @SussexRoyal, became the fastest account to hit 1m followers. It attracted a cool mil in 5 hours and 45 minutes (beating K-Pop star Kang Daniel, who did it in 11h36m).

It’s a useless piece of trivia that no one should care about. But it’s not the whole story: The @SussexRoyal IG handle was repossessed from a British driving instructor without his knowledge — and he’s peeved.

The other royal

The original SussexRoyal was a man named Kevin Keiley, a 55-year-old Sussex driving instructor and rabid fan of Reading Football Club (nickname: the Royals).

Now, SussexRoyal belongs to actual royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will use the official account to share “important announcements” (following the Royal Family’s strict social media guidelines, of course).

But to give the handle to the royal couple, Instagram first had to take it from its old owner — which it did without asking.

Can Instagram do that?

According to Instagram’s rules, it has the right to take over accounts it deems “inactive” — which is exactly what happened with Keiley.

Keiley used the account to like other posts and sometimes post himself. “I didn’t ask for this. I’ve had the account for years — it’s not very pleasant,” he told the BBC.

After cramping his IG style, the ’Gram threw Keiley a bone by giving him @_sussexroyal_.

But Keiley, who also has the @sussexroyal handle on Twitter, is making damn sure he doesn’t lose that, too: “This is the original and only Sussexroyal. We talk about supporting Reading FC.”

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