A composite image of the Duchess of Cambridge (L) and the Duchess of Sussex (R.) Meghan and Kate don't have private social media accounts, but Kensington Palace often posts photos of them.
  • Online abuse aimed at Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton is now so bad the royal household has asked social media companies for help.
  • INSIDER found dozens of vitriolic comments in response to Kensington Palace's Twitter and Instagram feeds.
  • Palace sources have said that officials asked for help with the most seriously abusive posts, which are taken offline.

Abusive and racist Instagram comments directed at Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are now so bad that Kensington Palace is asking the platforms for help keeping it under control.

Both Duchesses are often abused for what they wear, where they come from, and their appearances in comments under posts on Kensington Palace's Twitter and Instagram pages.

Royal staff have routinely been monitoring comments on both pages since they launched, a source told INSIDER, but asked for support from the platforms when it got worse in recent months.

The source said that both platforms had offered their support in response, and that they had been very helpful in combating the comments. They did not give specifics.

HELLO! magazine was first to report that Kensington Palace staff were spending hours each week reporting hateful comments directed at the Duchesses.

A royal source told HELLO!: "They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious."

"You can delete and report and block people and the police have options around particular people. It's something you have to manage because there's no other way to control it," the source said.

INSIDER understands that Kensington Palace policy is to leave comments which are critical of either woman in general terms, but to pursue action against extreme language, and particularly racism.

Neither duchess has her own social media accounts. Meghan shut her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages down on January 10, 2018, after her engagement to Prince Harry.

Kensington Palace opened their Twitter account on September 2014, and then their Instagram one on January 2015.

A review of both accounts by INSIDER quickly found dozens of vitriolic comments which were still live.

Markle has also been targeted offline. In February 12, 2018, a packet of white powder was sent to her with a racist note.

Twitter told INSIDER in a statement: "We don't comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons. Our abusive behavior policy clearly states that we do not tolerate behavior that harasses, threatens, or uses fear to silence the voices of others."

Instagram was not immediately able to comment.

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: