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The Harry And Meghan Drama Is Spilling Over Into Royal Instagram Accounts

Who knew wearing tan was so serious?

Posted on January 22, 2020, at 2:53 p.m. ET

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Daniel Leal-olivas / Getty Images, Joe Giddens / AP

Instagram accounts that cover the royal family have become huge for many of the same reasons you subscribed to this newsletter. Thousands of people are interested in royal drama, gossip, and fashion, and by following accounts like @Windsor.Royal.Family or @CatherineCambridgeFashion, they can get their daily fix.

The curators of these accounts have tons of royal knowledge and the time and patience to break down the daily goings-on of the British (and other) royal families — and they sometimes lean into tabloidy speculation. A big draw is when the accounts read the tea leaves (sorry) to determine if the British royal women, especially the Queen, are sending messages through fashion. It’s a very fun, and very unfounded, hobby for royal obsessives.


One of the best-known people doing this on Instagram is @eholmes, or journalist Elizabeth Holmes (not the Theranos founder). Holmes, a former style reporter for the Wall Street Journal, started sharing her views on royal fashion on her Instagram stories in a series called “So Many Thoughts.” It became wildly successful and she got a book deal out of it.

@Eholmes / Via Instagram

Of course, since this whole thing is wildly speculative, when Holmes declares she knows what message the royals are trying to send via clothing, she gets plenty of dissenters. Just over a week ago, Holmes got served some hardcore shade by another account.

“Um WOW, did you see the queen at church today?” she wrote on her Instagram stories. Holmes said she believed that the Queen, by wearing tan to church, was publicly offering Meghan and Harry an olive branch amid Megxit (this was before their summit on Jan. 13).

EHolmes / Via Instagram

Holmes reasoned that Meghan often wears tan during major life events, as she wrote on her blog earlier this month:

Meghan’s all-tan outfit on the visit to Canada House in London yesterday brought to mind the tan Banana Republic trench dress she wore during the tour of South Africa (see below). That appearance was just before they made a major announcement condemning their treatment in the media. Yesterday’s look feels so prescient now, worn the day before their new history-making new path was announced. It’s the ultimate dressing-for-the-slideshow moment.

Holmes said she believed the Queen, and later Kate, wore tan to show their support for the Sussexes because of this. However, a competing royal account, @TheRoyalWatcher, thought she was being ridiculous.

In a long, multipart Instagram story, @TheRoyalWatcher demolished Holmes’ argument...without actually naming her, of course. She shared a message from a follower asking them to debunk the “stupidity” of the coat theory and called out nebulous “people” sharing it.

Here’s what @TheRoyalWatcher argued:

@TheRoyalWatcher / Via Instagram

@TheRoyalWatcher told me via DM that she didn’t want to comment on Holmes, and Holmes didn’t return a request for comment.

However, it’s not surprising that Holmes, who has arguably had the most success at turning her Instagram tea account into actual work as a writer, would get some haters from the community. Which kind of makes her just like Kate Middleton. Or Meghan Markle. Or both. Depending on your view.


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