Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, might be living 6,000 miles away from Buckingham Palace, but their royal influence is both growing and overtaking Prince William’s amid Princess Kate Middleton’s cancer reveal.

In a new data study conducted by Hennessey Digital and made public on Wednesday, March 27, Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, narrowly follow Kate, 42, in terms of influence and popularity online and on social media. They are followed by the late Princess Diana Spencer, then by King Charles III. William, 41, is a distant four ranks removed from his younger brother and five from his wife.

Kate may be keeping her health battle behind closed doors, but she is still the living royal with the highest influence ranking. She enjoys 1.6 million Instagram hashtags, 412,000 Google searches and  184,600 views on TikTok per month, with the uptick in wild conspiracy theories about her well-being adding to her popularity.

Harry is close behind her, however, with 1.1 million Instagram hashtags, 700,000 Google searches and 177,000 views on TikTok per month. Meghan is quite literally in a league of her own, as she is the most Googled royal worldwide, boasting 1.2 million searches per month. In comparison, William is searched roughly 267,000 times on Google in a four-week period, pushing him considerably further down the ranks.

The increase of Harry and Meghan’s influence and popularity as a whole presents itself at a crossroads for the royal family. Kate’s battle with cancer not only pushed her behind closed doors, but gave social media users ample material to work with in regard to her whereabouts. Commentary on an alleged affair between William and Rose Hanbury reignited amid Kate’s disappearance, as did the status of their marriage as a whole. Conspiracy theories about William’s faithfulness, Kate’s quality of life as a royal, the status of her health and more painted an alarming picture of the firm.

By comparison, Harry and Meghan have largely kept to themselves since creating their lives in California, and continue to work in the nonprofit and charitable sectors. Most recently – and in a surprising announcement to fans everywhere – Meghan additionally revealed her new brand, American Riviera Orchard, which will likely feature a range of home and lifestyle products and stylings, according to the trademark license.

The schism between the two couple’s levels of influence is remarkably similar to that of the distance in their own lives. The Waleses and the Sussexes have not seen eye-to-eye for years now, and continue to forge their lives without the other couple much in consideration. Amid her cancer revelation, a source revealed that Kate and William do not want a visit from Harry and Meghan as it would cause “drama.” The revelation came amid rumors that the Sussexes learned of Kate’s condition along with the rest of the world.

“Several sources confirm that there were no such conversations and it is thought Harry found out about Kate’s diagnosis from television, at the same time as the public,” the Times of London reported, while another source told The Daily Beast of Kate and William, “They have come to terms with the estrangement from Harry, and are content to let sleeping dogs lie.”

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