Popular culture expert Nick Ede told Express.co.uk that he has seen a major change in the way that Kate and William use social media over the last four years. But he said the main change has occurred “since Harry and Meghan started to use social media in a really strong way”. For the royals, he said, social media is a method of “giving people an insight into their lives in a very controlled way”.
He explained that it allows them to control their own “narrative”.
Speaking about why the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did not do so sooner, Mr Ede claimed that the Royal Family were previously “a little bit scared of social media”, as the monarchy is often “slower” to “move with the times.”
But now, he said, the Royal Family appears to view itself as more of a “brand”, making them increasingly focused on trying to “engage an audience” in a “strategic way”.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been posting more intimate – and seemingly less formal – pictures and captions on their joint Instagram account, using it to document both royal engagements and family days out.
This comes as the monarchy is facing mounting challenges, such as growing calls for republicanism across the commonwealth.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Ede said: “100 percent I think over the last four years they have really changed since Harry and Meghan started to use social media in a really strong way when they were part of the Royal Family.
“William and Kate jumped on that bandwagon – or their team did – to really establish the fact that social media has this strong way of having an authoritative voice and also creating your own narrative.
“So using it as a way for expressing what they think, getting journalists to use their social media to report from, and basically giving people an insight into their lives in a very controlled way, which allow them to use their narrative rather than anybody else’s.
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“So they have to look at how they can really engage an audience, whether it’s Gen Z or Millennials.
“And also other users in a really strong and strategic way.
“I think it took them a long time to catch up and understand that actually social media is a really strong communication tool if used properly.”
While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stopped posting on Instagram in March 2020 after they stepped back from senior royal duties, they previously took a more relaxed and open approach to social media than had been taken by any royals before them.
The couple even used their joint Instagram account, @SussexRoyal, to announce the birth of their first child, Archie.
The caption said: “We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019.
“Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz.
“The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives.”