By now, most people in the country will be aware that baby princess of Cambridge has been named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana after her grandfather, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother - quite the family princess. However, here at Cosmic we’re interested in the first truly digital arrival in the Royal household and how this could shape the face of the British monarchy.
Way before Queen Elizabeth, Royals have always been interested in the latest technology, be that in weaponry, fashion or everyday life with the invention of the flushing toilet. Nowadays though, things are a little more high tech.
Royal Email Correspondance
On 26th March in 1976 Queen Elizabeth II sent her first email - she is regarded as the first head of state to use the electronic mail technology, and the message was transmitted over ARPANET which was a basic version of the internet. Earlier even than this, in 1939 The Queen travelled on the London Underground for the first time (though she hasn't been too keen in repeating this experience).
In the same way that Queen Victoria embraced the telephone, Elizabeth also began tweeting last year when she sent her first tweet from the Science Museum in London.
It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R.— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) October 24, 2014
The tweet announced the opening of a new exhibition at the museum celebrating the information age. It was signed off ‘Elizabeth R.’, but did that herald a new age of digital royalty?
The British monarchy has two ‘official’ Twitter accounts:
The @KensingtonPalace account was setup specifically to deliver news about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and for the first time ever this week @KensingtonPalace announced the birth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a daughter at 8.34am.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 2, 2015
So the Royals really are going digital, but there is also a lesson to be learnt from them in content marketing, the latest trend in digital terms.
Kensington Palace wanted everyone to feel involved in the ‘tweetathon’ that was inevitable when the Royal baby was born. As soon as Catherine’s labour was announced, the hashtag #RoyalBaby was trending worldwide and the Twittersphere was waiting in anticipation of the news of a Royal birth. Traditionally, this sort of news is broken via the seemingly old fashioned easel and pen outside Buckingham Palace, and this tradition was followed - but only after a tweet was sent from @KensingtonPalace to announce the birth.
So here’s the clever bit - to engage with more people on the #RoyalBaby hashtag, Kensington Palace also started a campaign of it’s own: #WelcomeToTheFamily.
This campaign encouraged others that were having babies on Saturday or had recently welcomed a new baby into the world to tweet pictures using the hashtag so that they could collate these on the Kensington Palace blog. You can view the final blog here https://storify.com/KensingtonRoyal/welcometothefamily-a-selection-of-your-tweets-and and you’ll see that some people even brought pets into the equasion.
This is a great example of curating content from your own followers to add value on and engagement to your own social media account.
Finally, we couldn’t talk about digital Royalty without mentioning the following spoof accounts of the British Monarchy. Both are light hearted parodies of Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Charles and they regularly comment on popular culture, politics and other national and international events. Below is a couple of tweets from around the time Princess Charlotte was born, we should warn you though, not all of the tweets from these accounts are quite as polite.
Text from President Obama: "Fantastic baby news, just over 8 pounds. How much is that in dollars?". Not replying. #royalbaby— Prince Charles (@Charles_HRH) May 2, 2015