Amanda Matta is officially TikTok’s “royal expert” — that is, if you ask The Daily Express. This is not an epitaph she would ever give herself. “I always say, I'm not a journalist, I'm not a royal expert. I know the same things as everybody else. I read the Tina Brown books to get the insights,” she explains.
The 27-year-old has amassed over 800k followers on TikTok doing what she loves: providing easily digestible and intersectional royal commentary. “To get that feeling like you're talking about these things with a friend is, I think, really valuable for people,” she says. “I'm giving you accurate information, but also we're just going to dish. We're just going to break it down and talk about why this is fascinating to us. And say maybe what everyone's thinking, but no one wants to actually say.”
That approach is precisely why she became such a sensation. After moving to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 2020, Matta found herself without any royals-loving friends to talk to. So she took her thoughts about Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview to TikTok, where her video racked up 3 million views. "I was like, oh, I do have opinions that people want to talk about. And just kind of rolled with it from there.“
Matta’s first video effectively defines her approach to coverage of the royals. She addresses the royal family’s contradictions head-on, providing space for people to understand the nuances often left out of lurid tabloid coverage. “Either you believe Meghan and you believe that the royal family was capable of [driving another royal wife to a dark place] and did it intentionally. Or you believe that she's lying and the royal family can do nothing wrong,” she explains of the wide range of responses to the Oprah interview. “I think those very opposite reactions just speak to the place that the royal family is in right now, where you're either a die hard fan or you want them gone. And it's very hard to find a middle ground.”
Below, Matta talks to Bustle about her fascination with the American Bonapartes (yes, as in Napoleon), makeup tutorials, and her speculation on which member of the royal family probably said that quote about skin tone.
The Fast Follow with @matta_of_fact_
What’s the last Wikipedia hole you went down?
I was researching Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, who was the sister-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte, but she was from Baltimore. When I learned about her for the first time, I was like, excuse me, what? Her marriage to Napoleon's brother didn't last very long, but they had a son which started this dynasty of American Bonapartes, which eventually culminated in a literal Bonaparte sitting in Teddy Roosevelt's cabinet. So that was fascinating to me. And I'm going to turn it into an episode of my podcast because I was just sucked into the family drama.
Who’s your favorite person you’re following right now and why?
It’s gotta be Rachel O’Cool. We met during a TikTok creator hangout and I have just been loving her videos ever since. She's a classic beauty influencer, but she employs a lot of professional makeup artist techniques. I've done like three of the tricks she's shown in the past couple weeks. I really love beauty and makeup — that's how I got into YouTube for the first time. So I've been just enjoying learning through TikTok now, too.
Describe the first post you ever shared on TikTok. What do you think of it now?
My first video was specifically talking about the idea that a royal had talked about the skin tone of Meghan and Harry's children. And my video was my theory that it was Prince William. I wouldn't have done that initial video differently. I've actually doubled down on my theory since then. I still kind of believe that it was him, but I have more places that I can point to that have informed my opinion. So yeah, I think that was a great place to jump off and start the conversations that we have on my page. And I've just been really glad that the same people are still following along so that I could elaborate on that and embellish it over time.
It seems like people were probably looking for your voice in all of this.
I try to keep it humble as much as possible, but I think that the common thread is that the things that I'm willing to say on TikTok are what a lot of people are thinking or wondering, or have not heard someone say out loud before. And I think that just is a testament to how I have no skin in the game. I'm not doing royal commentary to be in close proximity to the royals.
I'm doing it because I think this is something we need to talk about. So much of royal reporting is the royals hand you a press release and maybe let you show up to take pictures. You can't ask questions. You can't editorialize if it's not going to be favorable to them, otherwise you're out. You're out of the game. So coming at it from a different point of view where I am very much on the outside, I think that lets the conversation go a different way than it has in the past.
Side note: I totally think it was William who said that comment, too.
They have ruled out the queen. They've ruled out Philip. They've ruled out Charles. If it wasn't William, why wouldn't they have just said it wasn't William? I think we'll know eventually who it was, because they've also put some things in the press downplaying the actual comments that were made saying that it was joking, or that it was misconstrued. I think that, and the fact that they haven't said it wasn't him is teeing us up for the eventual reveal or the news to come out that it was him and they're trying to lay the groundwork that it wasn't actually that bad, which, whatever. So again, this is just my opinion, but yes.
Have you ever slid into someone’s DMs? What came of it?
Yeah, so like not in the way that I think most people mean sliding into DMs, but one of the parts about growing my platform was the realization that I have some cred with other creators. So being able to reach out to people who I've been following in the past, whose content I really have admired, and getting a reply was really cool. And then hearing from some people that they also enjoy my stuff. I’ve created a little pocket of the internet where I'm part of this community now. It's been neat. And I would not have gotten there if I hadn't done a few DM slides.
What’s the weirdest DM slide you’ve ever received?
Actually — and it’s wild to me that this was not a DM but a public comment — a woman commented on one of my videos and she wrote something like, "You're so cute. I wish I could fix you up with my son." And I was just like, oh my God, I'm a parasocial relationship for people?! That was a moment where I had to step back and just sit with that for a while and think like, people are perceiving me and fitting me into their lives. So wild on so many different levels.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.