Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Letizia's Twitter tour

In medieval times, royals used to whizz round their realms at a rate of knots to let everyone know that they were still around and make sure everyone still liked them.  In the days when no one got to see royals unless they bowled up in their home town it was a chance to brush shoulders with the most famous in the land.  These days, royal visits are normally a well organized mission trailed in advance and with limited chances to get really close to the regal figure involved.  But this weekend, Princess Letizia has been on a kind of mini modern progress with a weekend away in Andalucía that turned into what might well be the first royal Twitter tour.

One of the dozens of photos that appeared on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend as the Prince and Princess of Asturias visited Andalucía with their two daughters
The princess and her family had a bit of a mini break, taking in Granada, Almeria and Mojacar and virtually every stop along the way saw them snapped by fellow Spaniards and the photos posted across social media.  If medieval royal progresses allowed the people to get close to royalty, this modern mega walkaround has allowed the royals to get close to their fellow citizens.  The couple have been criticized for the way they manage their media image with limited opportunities given to see them as a family.  Even the traditional photo call in Mallorca has changed in recent years and the root of the change is traced back to them. 
By the looks of mum's 'let's get on with it' attitude, little Sofia may have wanted another ice cream before they left one of the many cafes and restaurants they were snapped in over the weekend
The Spanish press has carried lots of reports in recent months that the princess has been enjoying secret outings with friends and that she'll go a long way not to be snapped by the paps when she's out and about.  This weekend, she didn't stop having her photo taken - just when we thought the avalanche of royal twitpics was over, another wave would arrive.  From eating out to taking in the cultural sights and sounds, it was a fairly exhaustive three day break and fairly exhausting trying to follow it all as the photos and tweets increased.
Dad's been allowed to dress himself again - Felipe, Letizia and Sofia smile for the camera while Leonor hides behind her mum
As the couple marked ten years since announcing their engagement, and Leonor's eighth birthday, their family road trip was painted large - the social media coverage soon caught the eye of the editors of the mainstream media and suddenly a weekend away was turned into a story.  Given the couple's reticence to be snapped at times before, it raises interesting questions.  Is this a new phase beginning where the future king and his family will be seen more widely?  Or is it a one off answer to quite deafening criticisms recently that the Asturias aren't visible enough?  Time will tell but one thing is sure.  If this becomes a regular event, there will be a lot of hashtags to keep following in the months to come.

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