Before she was The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle was a prolific social media user, with almost two million people following the actor and humanitarian on Instagram until she closed her account in January 2018.
Prior to this, the 36-year-old royal also ran Twitter and Facebook accounts, both of which were shut down less than two months after Kensington Palace announced her engagement to Prince Harry.
Now, Markle has described her experience of quitting social media as “freeing” while chatting with a group of local residents in Sydney’s Bondi Beach as part of the couple’s royal tour of Australia.
Jessina Oakes, 26, recalled the former Suits star talking about about the pressure social media is putting on younger generations and the adverse effect this is having on people’s self-esteem.
“She said a really beautiful quote. She said: ‘Flattery and criticism run through the same filter,’” Oakes revealed.
“She said it was very freeing that she no longer has social media.”
Prior to leaving the platforms, Markle used social media to share her love of yoga and wellbeing, posting a mix of inspirational quotes, travel snaps and bare-faced selfies.
Her final Instagram post, which was published soon after her relationship with Prince Harry was announced, was a photograph of two bananas lying next to each another with the caption: "sleep tight xxx".
She shared a similar medley of content on her lifestyle blog The Tig until the site was closed down in April 2017, four months after she was photographed with Prince Harry for the first time.
While in Bondi, the royal couple also spoke to members of a community surfing group called OneWave, a non-profit organisation raising awareness for mental health issues.
The parents-to-be sat on the beach with the young surfers to take part in Fluro Friday, where people from the group dress up in fluorescent clothing and sit in an “anti-bad vibes” circle to engage in conversations on mental being.
OneWave member Dabriella Quay praised the duo for their candour.
"Oh my goodness, they were just so real, so relatable,” she told Press Association, explaining how both the Duke and Duchess openly spoke about their own struggles with poor mental health.
“Harry said seeking help was the best thing he had ever done. He was really open and honest.”
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