Royal Social Media: October's Instagram hits

Social media is fast becoming THE way royal houses choose to communicate. In an age where news moves faster than fast and often gets boiled down to a few words and a picture or two, official social media channels help set the agenda while keeping a seemingly insatiable appetite for royal stories going. What the royal houses choose to post on their official Instagram accounts tells us what they want to show to the world. What gets the most likes tells us just what hits a nerve. So to see what really got royal audiences going in October, here's a run down of the most popular Instagram posts on each official royal account. It's going to be busy - we're off to a swimming pool, climbing trees and trying out a bit of ballet. And you have to wait til the end for the biggest hit of the month. Grab the tea and biccies and enjoy October's royal social media hits.

Let's start with the best photo of the month, a future king and queen apparently under water. We know Mary and Fred are pretty unflappable but even they need help not to appear soaking wet while apparently under water. The royal couple were photographed at the famous ''Swimming Pool Illusion'' artwork by Leandro Erlich at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa during their visit to Japan this month. It is, of course, an optical illusion but left us all with a fab photo of the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark. It was a huge hit on the official Danish Royal Household Instagram account, winning 16.2k likes, more even than the new photo of Prince Christian taken to mark his 12th birthday which wasn't far behind with 15.1k likes.

It shows the power of a good photo. Usually birthday portraits are a sure fire for the most liked any month of the year. That was the case in Belgium where a new photo of Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant was shared to mark her 16th birthday and won just over 1,500 likes. It doesn't sound a lot when you look at the numbers for other royal accounts but this is the smallest of the official regal Instagram accounts and photos average around 300 likes. The total for the new portraits of the heir to the throne are big for this channel.

Another relatively small and new channel is the one belonging to the Norwegian Royal Household which began by sharing photos of the places and people visited by the family on their travels. Now it focuses much more on the royals themselves and the likes are jumping as a result. The most popular photo here in October was one of three generations of royal women opening a new sculpture in the park named after future Norwegian queen, Princess Ingrid Alexandra. The second in line to the throne was snapped with her mum, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and her granny, Queen Sonja, on an autumnal day and the result was liked over 2,900 times. The photo itself is a great example of why social media can work so well for royalty. It's not the best quality shot (blurred here and there) and hardly formal but it's got a real behind the scenes feel as Mette-Marit looks on proudly at her little girl who is, herself, taking the camera on with confidence. Easy to see why it was published and liked.

OK, we've done the swimming pool, time to climb a tree. Clarence House went through a phase of sharing so much on its Instagram feed it was hard to keep up. It also comes a long way behind in the number of likes compared to the two other accounts run by the British royals and this month's most popular image is interesting in that regards. Despite plenty of photos of Charles and Camilla going about their royal business, top of the tree was an owl having a snooze. It is a fab photo, there's no doubt about that, and if you stop and read the post that goes with it, it's also a rather clever way of promoting a cause close to Prince Charles' heart. There is lots of information there about the owl himself and why such care is being taken around him and his habitat. Saving the planet without getting everyone's back up - perhaps Prince William needs to take a few lessons from papa.

While Instagram is a very modern medium, sometimes history can't be beaten. The most liked photo on the Royal Family's official account came from 1958. The image of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh meeting members of the Royal Ballet after a performance almost fifty years ago scored 37.5k likes. But then what's not to love about the pure divadom of the ballet stars as they curtsey to the Queen in one of her sparkliest tiaras? Social media is all about moments and this is 

Social media can also let some very serious moments take on the significance they need. On October 5th 2017, the high profile politician, Eberhard van der Laan, died after a very public battle with lung cancer. He was 62 and had given up his tenure as Mayor of Amsterdam less than three weeks earlier. The Dutch Royal Household posted a poignant tribute to Mr van der Laan with a personal message from King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima who underlined their admiration for his love for Amsterdam and his desire to help others. They also offered their condolences to his family. Over 12,000 people showed their support for this post.

New beginnings also featured high on the most liked royal Instagrams of October 2017. After keeping us waiting for several weeks, Prince Gabriel of Sweden finally starred in his own official portraits. The little prince, born on August 31st 2017, was snapped in the arms of his father, Prince Carl Philip, while mummy Sofia cuddled big brother, Alexander. The photos won 35.5k likes - hardly a surprise to learn they are the most popular on the official Swedish royal account. When were new baby photos ever going to be anything other than completely and totally loved?

But the most popular photo shared on official royal Instagram accounts in October was all about a major story for 2018. The first official appearance of the Duchess of Cambridge following the announcement that she is expecting her third baby was always going to get people excited so it's perhaps no surprise that the photo of Kate with William at a reception to mark World Mental Health Day got just so much love. It won 127k likes, making it easily the most popular photo on the always popular Kensington Palace account. We can expect royal social media to be dominated by the new baby, due in April 2018. No doubt there will be plenty of posts to come - the likes are bound to follow.


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