Kate Middleton's brother James speaks out about mental health as he makes his Instagram public
He has revealed an ongoing battle with mental health, describing depression as a 'cancer of the mind'
Keen watchers of the British royal family will be familiar with James Middleton, Kate Middleton's younger brother.
But it seems that many had no idea the Duchess of Cambridge had a male sibling, until the 31-year-old made his Instagram public this week.
In two days, his social following has jumped from 4,000 to almost 90,000.
The vast majority of the photos on his Instagram feature the dogs he breeds and general life in the English countryside.
Mental health: Speaking out for a cause
It seems that the introduction of his newly public Instagram account ties in with a "devastatingly honest" Daily Mail story about his ongoing private battle with depression.
In an article he wrote for the British newspaper, James details his lowest moments and the ways in which his family have "saved" him.
"I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression," he wrote. "It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind.
"You may wonder why I have chosen to speak now about the clinical depression that first hit me at the end of 2016. There are two reasons," he explains. "Firstly, I feel - although I’d never say I am cured of it - that now I understand it and, with professional help, have worked out strategies for coping. Today, I feel a new sense of purpose and zest for life."
He then references the effect his sister Kate's royal position has had, saying: "Secondly - and perhaps most importantly - I feel compelled to talk about it openly because this is precisely what my brother-in-law Prince William, my sister Catherine and Prince Harry are advocating through their mental health charity Heads Together."
A very public reaction
The internet has, of course, had something to say about James's now-public Instagram account - which gives a previously unseen insight into the private life of someone so close to the British royal family.
Pop culture website Hello Giggles summed up the surprised reaction to James Middleton, writing: "We were today years old when we found out Kate Middleton has a hot brother who breeds dogs, looks like a bearded Jude Law, and just made his Instagram public."
According to Hello Giggles, the post has had a celebrity reaction, with Mad Men star January Jones commenting: "Where's HE been hiding?!"
However, it would seem James is not single. After an on/off five-year relationship with British TV presenter Donna Air, he has since been linked to French financial analyst Alizee Thevenet, according to People.
Updated: January 13, 2019 07:34 PM