While protocol generally dictates that the royals rarely make public statements about their political stances and beliefs, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry did just that on Saturday, June 1, with a heartfelt social media post in honor of Pride Month. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex bucked tradition by giving their Instagram account a rainbow makeover while sharing a note supporting the LGBTQ community. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's message for Pride Month 2019 is all about love, inclusivity, and diversity, and it highlights several LGBTQ organizations that you should be following if you aren't already.
Since the news broke that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were going rogue by creating their very own Instagram account back in April, the pair has been showcasing various causes and philanthropic efforts on @SussexRoyal. Considering Markle's demonstrated interest in charity work even before she became a royal and Prince Harry's considerable work promoting mental health education to erase stigmas around mental illness, it didn't come as too much of a surprise when they announced in May that they wanted to use their new account to highlight different causes each month that "promote mental well-being, mental fitness, body positivity, self-care, and the importance of human connection."
In addition to promoting a different cause every 30 days, Markle and Prince Harry revealed that the list of people they follow would be changing each month to reflect organizations and movements related to that cause. That included unfollowing all accounts that were not related to the causes they chose to highlight, including Prince William and Kate Middleton's Kensington Royal account and the Queen's Royal Family account.
On Saturday, June 1, the couple made their boldest statement yet by taking a stand for LGBTQ rights and Pride — something that other royals have typically shied away from doing.
"Continuing with our tradition to rotate the accounts we follow based on causes and social issues that matter to us," they wrote alongside a collage highlighting several different LGBTQ-friendly organizations, including an image with the late Princess Diana.
For the month of June we 'proudly' shine a light on PRIDE. This month we pay tribute to the accounts supporting the LGBTQ+ community - those young and old, their families and friends, accounts that reflect on the past and are hopeful for a deservedly more inclusive future. We stand with you and support you.
"Because it’s very simple: love is love," the post concluded, echoing a statement widely used in support of the LGBTQ community.
Highlighting where their gaze is set during the month of June, the caption shares where the pictures in the post came from. "Images above from the accounts we are now following and artist Ruben Guadalupe Marquez."
The pair tagged Pride, The Trevor Project, Stonewall UK, SAGE, the Human Rights Campaign, artist Ruben Guadalupe Marquez, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, PFlag, AKT, It Gets Better, and LGBTQ in their post as the 11 accounts they were currently choosing to follow.
While there's reportedly been some backlash around the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's decision to publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community, the late Princess Diana was known to advocate for better awareness of HIV/AIDS and to push for better treatment of people who have the disease.
Plus, back in April 2018, the couple showed their commitment to making LGBTQ rights a priority during a meeting with delegates of the Commonwealth Youth Forum. According to People, Jonah Chinga — an LGBTQ activist from Kenya — said that the big takeaway from the meeting was that "both Prince Harry and Miss Markle said they would put LGBT issues at the front of their work."
With Pride Month now officially underway, it looks like they're living up to their commitment and giving their followers some resources to easily learn more about LGBTQ rights.