The Royal Prince – Tradition Clashes With the Digital Age

30 Jul The Royal Prince – Tradition Clashes With the Digital Age

The new Prince has arrived! That’s right, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have finally had their babe – and if you didn’t already know that, you have clearly been living under a rock.

Since it was announced that Kate Middleton had gone into labor early last week, it has been royal baby fever across the United Kingdom globe. While the young prince will never be monarch to anywhere outside of the UK – I nonetheless now know everything about him and his birth – from what stroller he will ride in (blue Bugaboo buggy) to what kind of car the doctor that delivered him drives (Mercedes) – all thanks to the endless (and relentless) media coverage.

Granted, we are in a much different day and age from when the young prince’s father was born, and news is no longer heard from a town crier. With today’s 24/7-news cycle there is a lot of airtime to fill – and clearly an audience who is interested. In fact, BBC News received record-breaking global traffic on the day of the royal birth – with 19.4 million views. They were not the only ones, with numerous other sites following suit by posting extremely high viewing numbers on the day and days after the prince was born.

The birth of Prince George represented a clash between old-age traditions and circumstance and modern day digital info-overload. The palace though, did well balancing feeding the media beast, while still maintaining the centuries old traditions that come with a royal birth. Keeping with tradition, a car drove to Buckingham Palace carrying news of the baby’s birth to post outside. However, in new age spirit, before the car carrying the news even made it to the palace, Clarence House tweeted the birth announcement. Not only that, but the Clarence House Twitter Handle encouraged followers to share well wishes with the royals by using the hashtag #WelcometotheWorld. The palace also put up a Google card for those who wanted to offer personalized greetings to the Prince.

In a country that is deeply routed with history and circumstance, many were skeptical on how they would adapt to modern day technology given their reputation to be a bit stuffy and set in their ways. However, they have leaped into the digital age over the last few years, and surprised quite a few with how much information surrounding the birth was made available (and quickly) via social media.

It will be interesting to see in the future how much information the monarchy continues to release via social media as the child grows and reaches major milestones in his life. In my opinion, it would seem to work in their favor to release the occasional update for no other reason than to keep the media somewhat at bay – though based on how they handled the birth, it seems they have already figured that one out.

Kathryn Kaplan
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