A social media whiz child who was considered the ‘secret weapon’ of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is being cut by Prince William and Kate Middleton.
David Watkins, 27, was the digital communications leader of Sussex and led the @SussexRoyal Instagram account, helping the Duke, 35 and the Duchess of Sussex, recruit 38, 11.5 million followers with candid snaps and artsy videos.
He was one of 15 loyal employees who were fired as a result of their decision to step down as working royals and move to North America.
But now he’s been picked up by the Duke, 37 and Duchess of Cambridge, 38, to work on their digital communications and social media and, according to his LinkedIn page, the new role started last week.
Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle’s, 38, social media expert David Watkins has been picked up by Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 38, after the Sussexes moved to California
It’s a smart addition – the social media whiz was described as ‘the secret weapon’ that worked at the heart of Team Sussex.
David was poached last April by Prince Harry and Meghan of fashion house Burberry and joined the couple when they launched their wildly successful Instagram page.
He is believed to have worked particularly closely with Meghan, who has amassed millions of social media followers while working as an actress, and loved interacting with her fans.
The former Suits star often posted pictures of her doing yoga, cuddling her dogs and enjoying a glass of wine on her Instagram account.
Described as the ‘secret weapon’ of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, David was behind their hugely popular Instagram page
Many even believed that the Duchess approached the Instagram page hands-on, with fans regularly seeing Americanized spellings, as well as dollar signs and American English in the captions, claiming this was a U.S. resident writing them.
The Duke and Duchess’s Sussex Royal account broke a Guinness world record when launched on April 2 last year.
It became the fastest Instagram profile to reach a million followers in less than six hours.
Since then, the page has been used to announce important news for the couple, including Archie’s gender after his birth, and to share behind the scenes snaps and videos of their work.
David’s Linkedin page now reveals that he is working on their digital communications for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
However, David’s transfer from a key figure in the heart of ‘Team Sussex’ to ‘Team Cambridge’ is unlikely to end well with Harry and Meghan.
The two Instagram accounts both have pages that draw millions of followers in a cross race.
This is despite the fact that Cambridges’ Kensington Royal account has been around much longer, while the Sussexes only started their account in April.
In late March, Prince Harry and Meghan dropped their hugely successful @SussexRoyal account after being asked to drop their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand as part of their agreement to step down as senior royals.
David is believed to have worked closely with Meghan during his time with the Sussexes. The former actress was a bit of a social media affiliate before joining the royal family, often sharing photos of her life online (in the photo, relaxing at home with her dogs shared with Instagram in an instant)
In their last post on the page, Prince Harry and Meghan pledged to continue their behind-the-scenes charity work, revealing that they “ focused the new chapter on understanding how to best contribute ” before effectively “ closing ” the account.
Earlier this year, The Mail revealed that the couple made their entire team redundant as a result of their decision to move overseas and close their Palace office.
The staff included Harry’s longtime program coordinator, Clara Loughran, who was so well regarded that she was asked to give Meghan her bouquet at church on her wedding day in 2018.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry and Meghan closed the popular Instagram page late last month, with 11 million followers in a year (photo, their last post)
A royal source said at the time that the couple’s decision to hire a team of U.S.-based agents and publicists – many of whom had worked for Meghan when she was an actress – made life incredibly difficult for their Palace staff made.
Now living in Los Angeles, California, Harry and Meghan now plan to focus on their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in the coming months.
Earlier this week, the couple said they are “ looking forward ” to getting started with the foundation called Archewell, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand.