Meghan and Harry ‘stole’ Instagram name


A driving instructor whose Instagram username was stolen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle says he is "flattered" but also "annoyed".

The Sun reports Reading football club fan Kevin Keiley, 55, set up his account with the username @sussexroyal three years ago, to reflect the love for the British club, known as The Royals, and his home county of Sussex.

But since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex created their new Instagram account earlier this week, Kevin's handle changed to @_sussexroyal_, freeing up his original name for the royal couple.

Instagram claims the change was made to prevent "digital squatting" - the use of an internet username used to profit from the goodwill of trademark belonging to someone else.

Kevin only found out his handle had been poached when he got a text from his son.

He told Newsbeat: "I got a jokey text from my son which said 'Ha ha, I see your handle has gone then'.

"I thought 'What's that all about?' He said 'Look on Instagram' so I looked on Instagram and suddenly my handle wasn't @sussexroyal anymore it was @_sussexroyal_.

"It had been taken."

Kevin Keiley is not a happy man.
Kevin Keiley is not a happy man.



The football fan says he didn't have many followers or post very often, but he enjoyed using the social media site to follow and like the pictures of others.

He says no one from the Royal Family or Instagram contacted him to alert him to the username swap.

Instagram confirmed with The Sun Online the swap was made in line with their policy to change username's if the account in question is inactive for a certain amount of time.

Kevin says he hasn't used the social network since he received the news, as he's "annoyed" no one contacted him.

He added: "I'm a bit loath to use Instagram until I have a chat with them personally".

The dad also uses the @sussexroyal username on Twitter and has endeavoured to keep tweeting so this account won't be taken away.

He says: "I can tell you that Twitter's gone mental. I used to have four followers and in 24 hours I've gone up to about 198.

"What I'm trying to do is keep tweeting therefore they can't take it if it's active. I don't know what the royals are planning down the line."


Kevin's phone has been ringing off the hook this week and he says he's receiving rude messages from trolls on Twitter.

He said: "I didn't ask for this. I've had the account for years - it's not very pleasant.

"We just put up with it don't we? I'm sure famous people put up with it millions of times a day."

Kevin says he will probably go back on to Instagram one day but adds: "I don't think I'll be following the royals."

Kevin said if he had the chance to speak to the Duke and Duchess, he would say: "Hello Harry and Meghan. If you do want my Twitter account as well can you at least have the decency to speak to me?"

The new @sussexroyal account was launched this week and has already amassed over three million followers.

Within 14 hours of launching, the Instagram profile gained two million subscribers, making it the fastest account to gain such a high number of fans.

Sharing their very first post, Harry and Meg wrote: "Welcome to our official Instagram; we look forward to sharing the work that drives us, the causes we support, important announcements, and the opportunity to shine a light on key issues.

"We thank you for your support, and welcome you to @sussexroyal - Harry & Meghan."

The couple also posted a selection of images taken over the past couple of years - including those from royal walkabouts and tours.

But the royals have been hit by cruel trolls writing negative comments, including racism directed at the Duchess.

Staff have even reportedly struggled to delete all the cruel comments.

It comes after Kensington Palace was revealed to be spending hours moderating and deleting abusive comments aimed at the former actress and Kate Middleton.


This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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