How the Prince and Princess of Wales won over GenZ with a social media blitz

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How the Prince and Princess of Wales won over GenZ with a social media blitz

In 1968 a young Queen Elizabeth, stung by criticism that the monarchy was increasingly irrelevant, allowed television cameras to follow her family for

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In 1968 a young Queen Elizabeth, stung by criticism that the monarchy was increasingly irrelevant, allowed television cameras to follow her family for a ground-breaking and now notorious BBC television documentary, Royal Family.

Filmmakers had convinced her it would be a good idea to shine a little light on to the workings of the institution and introduce the future Prince of Wales to his people.

The two-hour documentary was a ratings triumph — watched by 30 million people in the UK alone — and showed a dedicated sovereign working tirelessly for her nation.

But viewers were also captivated by scenes of the Queen having breakfast, making banal small-talk with President Nixon, and woodenly regaling her family with an anecdote about Queen Victoria‘s ‘incredible control’ in not laughing when an ambassador ‘skidded’ and fell over in front of her.

The Queen was said to be horrified at the result, believing it belittled the institution and, according to some reports, vowed it would never be seen in its entirety again.

In the days leading up to and after the Coronation, the Prince and Princess of Wales went on a social media blitz posting slick videos of their family. Pictured: The Wales' toasting marshmallows at a Scout camp in Berkshire

In the days leading up to and after the Coronation, the Prince and Princess of Wales went on a social media blitz posting slick videos of their family. Pictured: The Wales' toasting marshmallows at a Scout camp in Berkshire

In the days leading up to and after the Coronation, the Prince and Princess of Wales went on a social media blitz posting slick videos of their family. Pictured: The Wales’ toasting marshmallows at a Scout camp in Berkshire

Adorable Prince Louis with Prince William as they drove a JCB digger during their volunteering day, captured on the family's Instagram and Twitter

Adorable Prince Louis with Prince William as they drove a JCB digger during their volunteering day, captured on the family's Instagram and Twitter

Adorable Prince Louis with Prince William as they drove a JCB digger during their volunteering day, captured on the family’s Instagram and Twitter

In 1968 a young Queen Elizabeth, stung by criticism that the monarchy was increasingly irrelevant, allowed television cameras to follow her family for a ground-breaking and now notorious BBC television documentary, Royal Family. Pictured: The late Queen and then Prince Charles on the documentary

In 1968 a young Queen Elizabeth, stung by criticism that the monarchy was increasingly irrelevant, allowed television cameras to follow her family for a ground-breaking and now notorious BBC television documentary, Royal Family. Pictured: The late Queen and then Prince Charles on the documentary

In 1968 a young Queen Elizabeth, stung by criticism that the monarchy was increasingly irrelevant, allowed television cameras to follow her family for a ground-breaking and now notorious BBC television documentary, Royal Family. Pictured: The late Queen and then Prince Charles on the documentary 

Princess Anne agreed, saying a few years ago: ‘I never liked the idea of ‘Royal Family’. I thought it was a rotten idea.’

Which is why a series of slick social media films released by the Prince and Princess of Wales in recent days, showing their family in front of the cameras — and, interestingly, behind the scenes — are being scrutinised so carefully by the wider royal household.

The media blitz began on the eve of the Coronation with a post on William and Kate’s social media channels — Twitter, Instagram — entitled ‘1 Day to Go!’ showing the glamorous couple meeting the crowds.

Things stepped up a notch on the day of the King’s crowning with an early-morning tease, ‘Today’s the day!’, depicting royal fans excitedly waiting along The Mall in the sunshine alongside a funky soundtrack.

Then there was a personal post by William paying tribute to the helicopter pilots taking part in the post-Coronation flypast.

This was followed by the piece de resistance — a one-minute clip with footage from that morning at Kensington Palace, which showed endearingly awestruck Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis gazing excitedly at the State Bentley as they prepared to leave for Westminster Abbey.

This was followed by the piece de resistance — a one-minute clip with footage from that morning at Kensington Palace, which showed endearingly awestruck Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis gazing excitedly at the State Bentley as they prepared to leave for Westminster Abbey

This was followed by the piece de resistance — a one-minute clip with footage from that morning at Kensington Palace, which showed endearingly awestruck Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis gazing excitedly at the State Bentley as they prepared to leave for Westminster Abbey

This was followed by the piece de resistance — a one-minute clip with footage from that morning at Kensington Palace, which showed endearingly awestruck Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis gazing excitedly at the State Bentley as they prepared to leave for Westminster Abbey

 

The 1969 documentary on the Coronation was watched by 30 million people in the UK alone — and showed a dedicated sovereign (pictured with one of her beloved corgis) working tirelessly for her nation

The 1969 documentary on the Coronation was watched by 30 million people in the UK alone — and showed a dedicated sovereign (pictured with one of her beloved corgis) working tirelessly for her nation

The 1969 documentary on the Coronation was watched by 30 million people in the UK alone — and showed a dedicated sovereign (pictured with one of her beloved corgis) working tirelessly for her nation

Entitled ‘What. A. Day’, this film was accompanied by a stirring musical montage and was a precursor to an entire ‘mini movie’ — a whole five minutes long — including candid footage of the couple and their children in their private Kensington Palace apartment. This appeared on YouTube.

Further clips from the film were released over the next few days, showing preparations for the Coronation Concert and the children getting involved in the ‘Big Help Out’ the following day — with Louis at his father’s knee as he operated a mechanical digger — and generally showing what a thoroughly lovely young family they are.

The videos have been lapped up by royal fans with the full Coronation film being viewed more than a million times in three days and their combined social media ‘likes’ on Twitter alone amounting to more than half a million over the Coronation weekend.

The Coronation bonanza has been followed by yet another video of William behind the scenes at Windsor Castle as he prepared to award England Lioness Beth Mead an MBE. Finally, of course, there was that jaw-dropping clip of the Princess playing the piano for the opening credits of the Eurovision Song Contest (which quite overshadowed the King and Queen’s brief cameo a few days earlier).

The campaign marks a serious ramping-up of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s PR strategy, backed by the couple themselves, it can be revealed.

The Wales' videos have been lapped up by royal fans with the full Coronation film being viewed more than a million times in three days and their combined social media 'likes' on Twitter alone amounting to more than half a million over the Coronation weekend. Pictured: Kate and Princess George on the night of the Coronation concert

The Wales' videos have been lapped up by royal fans with the full Coronation film being viewed more than a million times in three days and their combined social media 'likes' on Twitter alone amounting to more than half a million over the Coronation weekend. Pictured: Kate and Princess George on the night of the Coronation concert

The Wales’ videos have been lapped up by royal fans with the full Coronation film being viewed more than a million times in three days and their combined social media ‘likes’ on Twitter alone amounting to more than half a million over the Coronation weekend. Pictured: Kate and Princess George on the night of the Coronation concert

Prince George was captured hard at work during the Big Help Out

Prince George was captured hard at work during the Big Help Out

Prince George was captured hard at work during the Big Help Out

The Wales children were captured getting involved in the 'Big Help Out' the following day — with Louis at his father's knee as he operated a mechanical digger — and generally showing what a thoroughly lovely young family they are. Pictured: Prince Louis pushing around a wheel barrow

The Wales children were captured getting involved in the 'Big Help Out' the following day — with Louis at his father's knee as he operated a mechanical digger — and generally showing what a thoroughly lovely young family they are. Pictured: Prince Louis pushing around a wheel barrow

The Wales children were captured getting involved in the ‘Big Help Out’ the following day — with Louis at his father’s knee as he operated a mechanical digger — and generally showing what a thoroughly lovely young family they are. Pictured: Prince Louis pushing around a wheel barrow 

Although they have not commented publicly, the Royal Family is acutely aware of recent polling which, while showing widespread support for the monarchy, has indicated a worrying generational divide. A recent poll for the Daily Mail showed that while 74 per cent of those aged 65 and over would vote to keep the monarchy, that support plunges to just 28 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds.

This lack of engagement among young people has unequivocally been exacerbated by Harry and Meghan’s departure which, aside from the acres of unwelcome publicity, means that seven of our 11 remaining working royals are in their 70s and 80s.

The youngest are William and Kate, aged 41 and 40 respectively, followed by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, 59 and 58.

The Waleses’ children are all under the age of 10 and won’t be carrying out royal duties for at least a decade or more. Which is why Kensington Palace is so keen to capitalise on their popularity to engage with Generation Z — those born between the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s — who will be so crucial to ensuring the monarchy is able to retain the public support it needs to survive.

The number of people watching traditional TV broadcasts hasfallen by 59 per cent. By contrast, YouTube and Facebook reach more than 90 per cent of internet users aged 15 and over, with the video-sharing app TikTok continuing to grow in popularity with 66 per cent of 15 to 24-year-olds.

Prince Andrew (left) and Prince Edward (right) pictured with the late Queen in the Royal Family documentary which took a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the monarchy

Prince Andrew (left) and Prince Edward (right) pictured with the late Queen in the Royal Family documentary which took a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the monarchy

Prince Andrew (left) and Prince Edward (right) pictured with the late Queen in the Royal Family documentary which took a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the monarchy

The Queen was said to be horrified at the result of the BBC documentary, believing it belittled the institution and, according to some reports, vowed it would never be seen in its entirety again

The Queen was said to be horrified at the result of the BBC documentary, believing it belittled the institution and, according to some reports, vowed it would never be seen in its entirety again

The Queen was said to be horrified at the result of the BBC documentary, believing it belittled the institution and, according to some reports, vowed it would never be seen in its entirety again

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said: ‘In telling our stories, we have to ensure we are reaching audiences of all ages. And there is a big audience that is not potentially consuming their news in the traditional ways, so we have to go to them. It’s really important to the Prince and Princess of Wales that we are engaging those younger audiences in the work that we do.’

It’s why Kensington Palace hired cool, young freelance filmmaker Will Warr — who has worked with brands including Puma and Red Bull — to shoot its glossy ‘Coronation content’. The couple have worked with him before, on a family video to mark their tenth wedding anniversary in 2021.

William and Kate have also recently expanded their social media team from one to three, hiring a new ‘digital content creator’ and ‘head of digital and social media’ to bring ‘Brand Wales’ to a younger audience.

The couple’s team, it can be revealed, have even had talks with TikTok, although it is understood there are no plans to start their own account — yet.

Instead, they are focusing on growing their existing presence on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Aides are at pains to stress that this does not mean the couple will start regularly posting private family moments and are keen to continue to ring-fence their children. ‘They want their children to have the most normal upbringing they can provide,’ says a spokesperson.

‘Of course, there will be windows where the Prince and Princess will bring the children on to a more public space — the Coronation and last year’s Platinum Jubilee being two examples. But are the children going to appear on social media channels on a regular basis? Absolutely not. It’s about showing the work they do — whether it be around mental health, homelessness or the environment — to younger audiences, and creating the content they expect to see and engage with.’

It’s a fair point as TikTok users, for example, spend on average just seven to 15 seconds watching a video before scrolling down, which makes news-telling in this medium something of an art.

One senior royal adviser is impressed, saying: ‘I actually think it’s really smart and important if they want to work on being relevant and appeal to young people to have a better understanding of the role and value of the Monarchy.’

Others, however, are yet to be sold on the ‘slickness’ of William and Kate’s social media blitz and the delicate balance of royalty and modern celebrity.

This is something William’s grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth, understood all those decades ago. But times change, and even the crustiest courtier knows that the very survival of the institution and all the good work it does rests on the battle for the hearts of Generation Z.

So don’t rule out seeing a few royal TikTokers quite yet.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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