Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is “frightened” by the thought of her two children being on social media.
The wife of Prince Harry spoke about her concerns surrounding the time their kids, Prince Archie, four, and Lilibet, two, are old enough to have their own accounts.
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Harry and Meghan spoke on a panel for World Mental Health Day in New York alongside other parents who shared their own experiences.
Their foundation Archewell was hosting the Parents Summit under the title Mental Wellness in the Digital Age.
“I feel fortunate that our children are at an age, quite young, so this isn’t in our immediate future, but I also feel frightened by how it’s continuing to change,” Meghan told the audience.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Project HealthyMeghan, Duchess of Sussex holding Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. Credit: Netflix
“And this will be in front of us.”
“As they say, ‘Being a parent, the days are long but the years are short.’
“So it worries me, but I’m also given a lot of hope and a lot of energy by the progress we’ve made in the last year.”
The panel was aiming to encourage tech giants to improve content moderation to better protect and support the mental health of young social media users.
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Meghan added that the couple was working with some of these companies to make social media “safer, better and more positive”.
“People are getting hurt – and people, specifically children, are dying,” she went on to say before Harry added that their goal is to “turn pain into purpose”.
“Please stop sending children content you wouldn’t want your own children to see – I think it’s a very simple request and it’s an easy fix,” he said.
Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry speak onstage at The Archewell Foundation Parents’ Summit: Mental Wellness in the Digital Age. Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Project Healthy
Before Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex she had a social media presence, regularly posting about her life on set, with friends and on holidays.
In 2018, before her marriage to Harry, Meghan deactivated her personal accounts along with her lifestyle blog The Tig.
The couple then had their own official social media account, Sussex Royal, which was deactivated in 2020.
There have been suspicions Meghan is soon to return to social media after Page Six reported that she had secured an Instagram handle – @meghan – and was quietly preparing to make a comeback online.
The unconfirmed @meghan Instagram. Credit: Instagram / meghanA former post from Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s Instagram. Credit: Instagram / meghanmarkle
The account in question was launched just before Meghan started her now-defunct Spotify podcast.
While it has yet to share a single post, as of October 2023, the account has more than 128,000 followers.
“Meghan was set to go live on Insta, but changed her mind shortly before she launched her Archetypes podcast, so it’s just sitting there now,” a source told the publication.
The trip to New York marks the first time the Sussexes have returned since their “near catastrophic car chase” in May 2023.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry in New York in May. Credit: MEGA/GC Images
The incident involved half a dozen cars with blacked-out windows, driving dangerously and putting in danger the lives of the couple and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, according to their representative.
The spokesperson had described the situation as “a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi”.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers,” the representative said at the time.
The couple’s version of events was challenged by some quarters, including the taxi driver who had the royal couple in the back seat of his cab.
Sukhcharn Singh told the Washington Post, “I don’t think I would call it a chase”.
In another interview with the BBC, he was asked if the situation was “near-catastrophic”.
“I don’t think that’s true,” he said. “I think that’s all exaggerated.”
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