A picture paints a thousand words so what appears on the official royal accounts of image led Instagram should tell us reams about how the ruling houses of Europe see themselves. The photos they share let us know what they think is important now - and how often we like them says right back what we rate about royalty in 2017. The most popular Instagram posts of May paint a picture of what matters about royalty right now. Which makes Princess Charlotte very important indeed.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share a new photograph of Princess Charlotte to mark her second birthday tomorrow. 🎈 The photograph was taken in April by The Duchess at their home in Norfolk. The Duke and Duchess are very pleased to share this photograph as they celebrate Princess Charlotte's second birthday. Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank everyone for all of the lovely messages they have received, and hope that everyone enjoys this photograph of Princess Charlotte as much as they do.
The photo of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge shared by her parents to mark her second birthday took plenty of criticism for its composition and artistic merit but it ate up Insta hearts like they were going out of fashion. It's racked up 267,000 likes on the Kensington Palace account alone but it wasn't only the most popular photo on that most popular of royal Insta channels. It was top on the Royal Family account with another 63,000 likes there and outranked everything on the Clarence House channel too where it won 15,000 hearts.
The younger generation won fans on the Swedish Royal Family's Instagram account too with an image of Estelle and Oscar taking top billing in the May countdown there. There were over 28,000 likes for an image of the second and third in line to the throne joining their mum and dad, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, and uncle, Prince Carl Philip, to welcome Sweden's Ice Hockey team to the Royal Palace to celebrate their World Championship win. Sporting superstars, Estelle being Estelle and Oscar in a sports kit - how could this one fail?
Birthday time in Norway meant a wave of photos on the official royal Instagram account with many taking over 1,000 likes each - a strong tally for a newish channel which usually counts hearts in the hundreds. While many of the images from the two day celebrations for the 80th birthdays of King Harald and Queen Sonja scored well, it was a photo that linked the royals to their country and underlined the communal nature of the festivities that was easily the most popular. A simple image of the Royal Palace in Oslo surrounded by lights including some in the shape of a heart won over 5,000 likes with a second version later at night taking another 2,000.
Om 20.00 is Nederland 2 minuten stil om de slachtoffers van de Tweede Wereldoorlog te herdenken. Ook slachtoffers die om het leven zijn gekomen tijdens oorlogen en conflicten van na de Tweede Wereldoorlog worden herdacht. Koning Willem-Alexander, Koningin Máxima en Minister-President Rutte wonen de herdenking op de Dam in Amsterdam bij. #4mei #herdenken #nationaleherdenking. Meer info via @nationaalcomite4en5mei 📸 Koen van Weel
Those events which unite us all proved popular on the Dutch Royal Family's official Instagram too. The newest royal account, already scoring impressively with followers and likes, had a strong showing for many of the photos it shared this month but a traditional event that proved most popular. The picture posted to mark Remembrance Day on May 4th took 10,000 likes and counting showing that often what makes monarchy so important in this day and age is its link to moments we all share.
Major events in the royal calendar always prove popular too as was proved by the Danish Royal Family's Instagram hit of the month - the birthday portrait of Crown Prince Frederik released as the king in waiting turned 49 on May 26th 2017. Who doesn't love a new photo of a future monarch marking a milestone? At least 11,000 people and counting who hit the heart when this photo was shared. Given that Fred has started birthday preparations for teh big 5-0 next year already, expect to see him dominating Danish official royal social media for months to come.
A major political event ended up giving the Belgian Royal Family their biggest Instagram hit of May. Queen Mathilde welcomed the spouses of NATO leaders to her home at Laeken and an image of them touring the impressive greenhouses there scored the most hearts for this particular royal account. It's a great image and was bound to get attention because of the event itself as Mathilde and her husband, Philippe, became the first European royals to officially host US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania. There's royalty, history and sunglasses in this photo. It's what Instagram was made for.