The COVID-19 pandemic has changed countless lives. As everyone hunkers down during their social isolation, it has become a major struggle to find things to keep both busy and happy.
This is one of the few struggles in life that affects everyone regardless of their wealth and social status. For example, the British royal family has changed everything from how they dress to how they communicate!
Wondering how the royal family has been spending time during their lockdown? We’ve got the full scoop.
Meghan Markle goes casual
Before she and Harry made the unprecedented move to ditch royal duties and head to America, Meghan Markle’s outfits were impeccable and elaborate. When you’re going to be in countless photos with other members of royalty, it’s crucial to look fabulous and formal at all times.
One happy consequence of life in lockdown is that Meghan has learned the joys of going casual. In a recent video she shared to Instagram, we can see Meghan has traded the fancy dresses for a comfy burgundy sweater.
Combined with wearing relatively little makeup, it’s safe to say that lockdown has created a more casual Meghan Markle. And if you ask us, she’s never looked happier! Could she have filmed this in Tyler Perry’s mansion, where she and Prince Harry are reportedly staying during lockdown?
“It’s been such an honour to meet and learn from so many talented women in the Smart Works network over the years, and recently to see the amazing work they’re doing to adapt their programs to the reality of this pandemic. Their ability to continue to empower women and help them harness the confidence they need to succeed during this time is inspiring." – a message to our clients from the Duchess of Sussex. ⠀ Since moving to a virtual service six weeks ago we have delivered 200 hours of support to our clients. ⠀ From the volunteers who have been delivering coaching online to the staff working behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly – the energy, passion and commitment has been overwhelming. ⠀ We couldn’t do this without the support of our community and on the 27th March we were honoured that our patron, The Duchess of Sussex kindly volunteered some time to speak with one of our clients ahead of her interview, offering words of advice and encouragement. During the session the Duchess praised her for being “such a beacon of hope” and “focusing on getting through this”. ⠀ When asked about her patronage she said, “it’s a pleasure to support them, you see how great they do and how many people they help and that’s what it’s all about. I’ve been really proud to be able to be their patron, but it’s an easy yes when you have such incredible women helping you.” ⠀ After her session with the Duchess our client had this to say: ⠀ “I just wanted to say a big 'thank you' to you, the Duchess and the whole team at Smart Works for making this possible for women all around the UK, because to see such work is truly inspiring and uplifting. And thank you for the super useful interview tips – I will be using them for years to come!.” ⠀ The Smart Works service is available for any woman who is unemployed and has a confirmed job interview, referrals are made by our employment support partners including women’s charities and Job Centre Plus. Our mission is to help anyone who needs it, no matter the circumstances.
A post shared by Smart Works (@smartworkscharity) on Apr 29, 2020 at 6:00am PDT
The video she shared to Instagram was a recording of a call she made to SmartWorks. They are a charity that helps unemployed women find work–something that is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By publicly supporting this important charity, Meghan has committed herself to improving lives both during and after the lockdown. She and Prince Harry have also been spotted around L.A. in face masks delivering food to the needy!
FaceTime with Meghan Markle
While Meghan Markle likes to talk to the world via Instagram, she takes a different approach to talk with friends and family. What’s her communication tool of choice? FaceTime!
This is actually nothing new for Meghan. Her friend Janina Gavankar described it like this to ET: “Listen, our entire friendship has been apart, you know. We met 16 years ago, and we’ve just been apart since, so our friendship lives on FaceTime, no matter where we are.”
Since Meghan has been rocking FaceTime for years now, it’s no surprise she’s sticking with it during lockdown. It may even been an important lifeline to her mother, whom she reportedly hasn’t been able to visit in person.
Zoom with Prince William
If you had to pick one company that has truly flourished during the pandemic, it would be Zoom. This video conferencing software beat out veterans such as Skype and premiered as the best choice for schools, businesses, and individuals to remotely conduct business.
As it turns out, Zoom has the royal seal of approval via Prince William. Zoom and other conferencing software has been “been a really good way of keeping in touch and seeing each other,” William said in a BBC interview.
It’s been a learning curve for some royals, though. William said the family is “getting a little bit more used to being able to contact each other and pressing the right buttons and not dropping the computer halfway through.”
Sometimes, those family technical issues hit pretty close to home. According to William, his two-year-old son Prince Louis is a little too tempted to hit the red button during calls! “For some reason, he sees the red button and he always wants to press the red button,” William said.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge love social media
Many members of the royal family use social media in some form or another. Heck, even the Queen started tweeting back in 2014! And in 2019, she made her first Instagram post.
During lockdown, some royals have been a bit more active than others. For example, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared some adorable royal photos on Mother’s Day and expressed their hope that families could stay connected on this day even when they are physically apart.
This message was uplifting, but it also serves as a powerful example that royalty is no shield from feelings of isolation during this lockdown.
But Kate Middleton also goes low tech
It doesn’t get any more “old-fashioned” than the royal family. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that Kate Middleton and others sometimes prefer low-tech communication.
Even during lockdown, Middleton has continued the royal tradition of sending handwritten letters to people and organizations to show her support. One recent example included a letter that she wrote to the Action on Addiction group in an attempt to raise their spirits.
While Meghan and Kate have different approaches to public communication, it’s inspiring to see their commitment to activism and public good.
Zara and Mike Tindall reveal the royal family WhatsApp group
As you might expect, the royals aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel when it comes to lockdown communication. For many of them, WhatsApp is the perfect way to stay in touch. Zara, daughter of Princess Anne and eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, and her husband former rugby player Mike Tindall are no different.
Yep, the royal family has a WhatsApp group they use to keep in touch, Mike revealed in an interview with The Mirror. “Me, my brother and then a few of Zara’s side like her brother Pete and the cousins are on WhatsApp groups. I wouldn’t say we’re cutting edge, but it’s just easier for some reason on WhatsApp.”
While he says it’s “easier,” certain aspects can be a bit exhausting. Tindall is part of a staggering 25,000 groups, and he struggles with offending family members and friends by ditching conversations. “You’re scared to leave because you don’t want to be seen as rude.”
What comes next?
One of the scariest things about COVID-19 is that we don’t know what the future looks like. Not only are we in the darkness of a pandemic, but we don’t know exactly when we’re going to see the light and make it through this.
The Royal Family will continue to evolve in how they communicate with each other and find ways to interact with the world. We may be able to learn from their example and hold onto both our sanity and dignity during this unprecedented crisis.