Monday, May 2, 2011

Social Media's Influence on High Society: The Royal Wedding

On April 29, 2011 the world witnessed history; a royal wedding between Prince William of England and his "commoner" bride, Kate Middleton. It is no mystery why this wedding is the topic of every conversation from the grocery aisles of a quite suburb in Oklahoma to the over flooded streets by Westminster Abbey, a real fairytale took place! What else is magical about this union? From a branding standpoint the wedding created a ton of coverage for various mediums. As speculated by PR specialists everywhere, "The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the latest big global event which media companies are falling over themselves to cover with new digital products" (article here).

First off a article stated that news stories regarding the wedding (according to were up to 7 million searches/day. Additionally, blog posts "more than doubled from 46.7 million on April 5 to 102.9 million." What else? Tweets about the wedding quadrupled, about 5,000/hour over the last week.

Live coverage of the wedding was viewable from the BBC website. However, on the wedding day the news channel reported a glitch-- too many people were trying to access the site and "Visitors were intermittently greeted with an error message saying the website was experiencing 'abnormal traffic' around the climax of the ceremony after 11am." Abnormally high numbers of attention to the Royal wedding is commonplace, in 1981 the "wedding of the century" between Prince Charles and Lady Diana attracted an estimated global television audience of over 750 million people--the most popular program to ever broadcast. Despite this impressive statistic, the 2011 nuptials had nearly 2 BILLION viewers according to a recent article on

The entire wedding was so covered by social media (SM) that it is as if SM was an invited guest to Buckingham Palace. The modern couple chose to share their wedding with the a very modern way. First off there was a royal wedding website which informed guests and the pubic about every event that was to take place pre and post wedding. Additionally, there was an official royal You Tube channel that was expected to get over 400 million hits. If you didn't want to watch the live stream and preferred reading updates, there were official Twitter and Flickr accounts dedicated to documenting and covering the entire occasion. What if you had the urge to buy the handsome couple a gift? Social media made it easy to do that as well. With a royal wedding registry, guests could donate to multiple charities in the names of Kate and William themselves.
Social media covered almost every aspect of the royal affair--from details about the cake (made by Fiona Cairns Ltd of Leicestershire), to Kate's hairstylist (the talented Mr. Richard Ward), nothing was kept secret. Additionally, since guests were allowed to use social media while at the wedding, sites like Twitter updated the world about Lady Catherine's second wedding dress, also created by Sarah Burton, before the official pictures were even leaked says Forbes Magazine.

The royal wedding set world breaking records in the realm of social media. Besides tweeting, facebooking, blogging and posting about the event, individuals could download phone applications which connected them to videos, games, news stories, photos, etc. There was no shortage in coverage of the royal wedding; apparently intimate gatherings are no longer personal affairs in this day and age.

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