It’s a big day for the royal family, as one member turns a year older and another is memorialized on what would have been her 121st birthday. The official Instagram account tied to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, celebrated Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (Charles’ late maternal grandmother), and Meghan Markle’s respective birthdays. But the way in which the two women and prominent figures in the royal family were recognized was very different.
On the Instagram grid of the Clarence House account, Prince Charles paid tribute to the Queen Mother with two photos and a touching caption. “On this day in 1900, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was born,” the caption read. The first photo featured a portrait of the late royal and a silver vase “given to The Queen Mother as a gift on her 100th birthday.” The second addition was an old photograph of the Queen Mother with three of her grandchildren, including a young Prince Charles.
While this birthday tribute was posted to the Clarence House Instagram grid, the birthday celebration for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex was shared to the account’s Instagram Story. “Wishing the Duchess of Sussex a very happy 40th birthday,” the caption to the photo of a beaming Meghan Markle read. As many an Instagram user knows, additions to Instagram Stories are impermanent, and expire after roughly 24 hours.
The choice for Clarence House to post a tribute to the late Queen Mother, while relegating the Duchess of Sussex to an Instagram Story sends a curious message to Clarance House followers and royal family fans at large. It should also be noted that on this day last year, the Clarence House account did share a photo of Meghan to their grid and did not share a tribute to the Queen Mother.
Other royal accounts, including the Cambridges, have opted to send their birthday wishes to Meghan via Instagram Story, as well. If anything, the impermanent birthday wishes just highlight how strained the bonds between royal family members are, at the moment. As Meghan and Prince Harry continue to build their own media and service-oriented empire, separate from the royal family, we have to wonder if this is a trend that will continue, or if there may come a time when birthday tributes and wishes are, like an Instagram Story post after 24 hours, completely expired.
Before you go, click here to see the 100 best photos of the royal family from the past 20 years.