Monday, 3 July 2017

Royals on Instagram: who was most liked in June?

If social media tells us what the royals want us to know about them right now and the bits we like best tell them just what makes them popular today, then June was all about youth. The biggest likes on the photo sharing site Instagram were saved for pictures that were all about being young. The official royal accounts have gathered big followings in the past year as Instagram becomes the medium everyone wants a part of and the images on those sites that hit the hearts tell a story of monarchy in the 21st century. And right now, it's really young at heart.

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Kensington Palace nearly always tops the like list on Instagram - mostly because it has easily the biggest number of followers of all the royal accounts (1.9 million by the end of June 2017). That's no surprise - in an image led world, the most photographed family around are always going to be of interest. June saw them lead the way with likes - their most popular post, shared on Father's Day, took 159,000 hearts. But it also caused controversy, mostly starting with the question ''where's Charlotte?'' Kensington Palace shared a montage of snaps of royal fathers and children but the photo album missed out the fourth in line to the throne, instead showing her dad giving big brother George a cuddle. One comment noted ''poor choice of photos for Father's Day''. But then it's rare to see William holding Charlotte in public for some reason - the Cambridges for all their talk of modernity do seem to go for mum with daughter and dad with son in 1950s shorts on a regular basis. The couple have faced plenty of criticism this month but then when their Instagram pictures show huge hits on the likes scale, is it any wonder they keep on keeping on despite the protests? 

Today marks the 64th Anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. Monarchs have taken part in the Coronation Ceremony @westminsterabbeylondon for 900 years. Just 16 years earlier, The Queen had watched her own father, George VI, be crowned King. Her Majesty became Queen at the age of 25, when she was on Tour in Kenya – the first monarch to ascend to the throne whilst being abroad for 200 years. This image from @royal_collection_trust shows The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on their way to the ceremony. Their Royal Highnesses were driven to Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace by eight grey gelding horses. The service was the first ever televised and watched by 27 million people in the UK alone. Want to know more about The Queen's Coronation? Discover 50 little known facts about the day – Link in bio.
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The next most liked image on royal Instagram in June was an archive photo but it was all about youth. The snap shared by the official Royal Family account on June 2nd was a black and white picture of the Queen on the way to her Coronation, exactly 64 years earlier. This picture took 45.8k likes in June - partly because of the event it commemorated but also because it's a behind the scenes snap that gives a brief glimpse of the people involved in the pageantry that modern day royalty is for so many. Yes, there is pomp and splendour and history but it also shows a young couple (Philip can be seen in the corner of the carriage) with just a hint of nerves and plenty of excitement on one of the biggest days of their lives.  It's a moment of magic, no wonder it got the love.

It was a similar story for Europe's other queen regnant. In Denmark, youth still won the day but with that same vintage vibe. An image of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik on their wedding day, when they were both in their twenties, stormed to the top of their most liked Instagrams with 14.6k likes.  It's a familiar enough image, the young couple posing for their official photographs, but their attention is on one another. We've seen the photo plenty of times before but it captures the romance that is Margrethe and Henrik to perfection. And they both look ridiculously young here. It was a special anniversary, too, as the couple marked 50 years together and it got everyone feeling happy as the hearts started flying.

There was plenty of competition for most popular photo on the Swedish Royal Family Instagram from the younger generation this time round with Prince Nicolas' birthday photos hitting almost 18,000 likes within days of being posted. But Instagram tells the story of the royals as it unfolds and there's no doubting that right now, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar are the stars of the Swedish show. The new photos of them, released to mark Midsummer, scored 32,800 likes just as quickly. While Instagram is all about a good photo, royal social media is about the institution too and the future queen and her heir always score big here.

Special moments always score well on the royal Instagram accounts and while Clarence House didn't have a wedding to celebrate (not that we're looking at anyone here, Harry) there was the small issue of a future king's birthday to mark and going right back to his youth proved a huge hit. As Prince William turned 35, Clarence House shared an archive image of him with the Prince of Wales playing football (well, as near as you get to that in suits with the world's press watching). It took over 10,000 likes which just goes to show that those magic days of the early 80s when everyone loved the Wales family still pack a punch now. 

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You can't beat a birthday photo for Instagram likes and the top pic on the Dutch Royal account for June 2017 was an archive image of Princess Alexia, shared on June 26th, to mark her 12th birthday. It got 11.3 hearts in June - a pretty impressive tally considering the account wasn't quite two months old at the time and the photo has been seen several times before. Lots of good wishes accompanied the likes, too, meaning a truly Happy Birthday for the second in line to the throne.

Bringing up the rear with 487 likes in June was the Belgian Royal Family but bear in mind this is a new account with a growing following. Their top photo was all about youth too as Princess Elisabeth accompanied her mum, Queen Mathilde, to the Queen Elisabeth Music Prize for 2017 and posed for photos with Victor Julian La Ferriere, a very youthful looking winner. It's smiley, it's relaxed and it's a future queen learning the royal ropes. What's not to like?

Let's finish with Norway because they always like to do things their own way. The top photo there, with 1,514 likes, featured Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Crown Princess Mette-Marit on their recent visit to the Orkneys. As we've come to expect from this pair it involved them standing in a rain soaked field, looking chilly but cheerful, and not looking at the camera. Since it started, the Norwegian Royal House Instagram account has been made for snaps like these, the future king and queen in a muddy/ hazy/ grey setting in rainmacs/ big coats/ sometimes a hat smiling through it all. It always scores big for them and June was no exception. That's the youth of today for you.

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