You don’t have to be a lover of the British royal family to appreciate that James Middleton’s Instagram is a gift to humankind. The 31-year-old royal-adjacent Brit (Middleton is the younger brother of HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, a.k.a. Kate Middleton), started off the new year by making his formerly private Insta account public. (The same day, Middleton shared a personal essay on his struggle with depression, written for the Daily Mail.) And it is seriously the gift that keeps on giving.
There’s a lot to love, but whatever the reason you head over to Middleton’s ’gram, you’ll stay for the glory that is his beard.
Forget Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born, forget George Clooney’s silver-fox status, forget all the iconic beards of the past, because Middleton’s is the pièce de résistance. TBQH, the beard takes both his Insta page and IRL status from mediocre to iconique. For some reason, The Beard (as it shall hereafter be known), has the power to make us want to move to the remote countryside and *actually* read some Thomas Hardy. It is undoubtedly The Beard that allows Middleton—a “Wonka-in-Chief” who started Boomf, a UK-based marshmallow company that can print your likeness on the spongey candy and who currently works as a tour guide in the Scottish Highlands— to simultaneously rock pink shorts, a wool vest *and* Wellies in a non-ironic and totally hunky way.
It’s also The Beard that also allows Middleton to dress like the live-action book cover for Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and not look uber pretentious. No, really! It works!
While looks aren’t everything, we have a hard time believing that the hunky outdoorsman could make pink shorts and Wellies work sans beard. (TBH he looks a lot like Jude Law, which isn’t bad. It just isn’t “it.”) But if, for some reason, Middleton should pull a Bradley Cooper and axe his lovely AF beard, there are a *few* more things to like about our new favourite influencer. Below, everything we love about Middleton’s Insta account. (We’re just waiting on those boozy posts from Kate’s birthday party!)
Dogs, dogs and more dogs!
Let’s just get this out there, Middleton has about 400 dogs (or at least eight). Perhaps taking a cue from his sister’s royal grandma-in-law, the youngest Middleton seems to have an affinity for four-legged friends, specifically black cocker spaniels, posing (and seriously smizing) frequently alongside his canine pals, both on and off land.
While in theory, owning this many dogs isn’t *that* relatable (all that kibble is *not* cheap… and neither is that private plane he’s about to board), it nevertheless makes him super endearing.
We’re guessing that any future GFs will have to firmly land in the “dog-lover” category.
It’s literally an ode to pastoral England
Or in this case, pastoral Scotland. Take one look at Middleton’s ’gram and tell us it isn’t straight out of a scene in Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version, obvi.)
From the rolling hills and greenery in the background of his photos, to the classy snaps of Middleton in a page-boy hat *clearly* in the middle of a jaunt across the moors, Middleton’s life looks hella idyllic and straight out of the 1950s. Not only does his Instagram feed give us serious nostalgia for the days of yore, it’s a serious landscape thirst trap, perfect for anyone who needs to detach from the hustle and bustle of the city via their Insta feed.
And, just in case you didn’t think he was a lover of *all* aspects of the outdoors, HRH’s little bro is a beekeeper in his spare time. Which, I mean, get you a man who can do both.
He doesn’t take his royal-adjacent status, or himself, *too* seriously
For someone so closely tied to the royal family, frequently spotted at big events like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 2018 wedding, Middleton largely stays out of the limelight. But that doesn’t mean he’s afraid to poke fun at himself—or his mode of transportation. Middleton cheekily reposted a photo of himself and sister Pippa Middleton on their way to Wimbledon, driving in his vintage Land Rover, alongside a July 2017 blurb which said that seeing Middleton drive the vehicle “sent [the writer’s] eyeballs on a roll from which they may never recover.”
The bearded bro has also tried to maintain his individuality offline, quietly dismantling the monarchy from the inside with his aforementioned facial hair. According to British GQ , while there’s no official royal restrictions around facial hair, it was a low-key expectation that men shave before Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding, something Middleton reportedly refused to do. Can we just say we are here for this rebel-with-a-cause; not only possessing a public Insta account (restricted by most of the royal fam sans Princess Eugenie) but also flaunting his forbidden facial hair on it?!
He shares small glimpses of the fam
It’s almost blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, but Middleton does make the occasional (and seriously sweet) references to his royal family, in particular his niece and nephews. On May 2, 2015, the day Princess Charlotte was born, Middleton posted a photo of himself looking like a hunky Jean Valjean in his brown vest, with the caption, “A little pink champagne to celebrate!”
There are lambs
As if his Instagram could get any cuter. Alongside his dozens of photos with dogs and chickens, Middleton casually drops photos of adorable lambs on his unsuspecting followers. How many of your Insta faves do that?
Now all we need is for Middleton to spill the royal tea we *all* want to be cleared up: Meghan and Kate are friends, right?
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