With people across the country making their final preparations for the Jubilee celebrations this weekend it is interesting to reflect on the attitude of the great British public and how they perceive the royal family at this moment in time.
While some, of course, are simply enjoying the thought of a long bank holiday weekend, it seems that there is a sentiment of warmth and genuine affection amongst many in this Jubilee year, which is in stark contrast to the ‘annus horribilis’ of 1992 and the aftermath of the death of the Princess of Wales in ’97. The changing face of the media, and the royal family’s interaction with it, has much to do with this.
While editors and journalists still love nothing more than a dramatic, headline-creating scandal, the royal family seem to have become more adept at proactive media relations and are succeeding in altering the public perception of ‘the firm’. The triumphant arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Kate’s seemingly natural connection with ‘the people’, whether it be visiting worthy causes or simply wearing a dress ‘from the high street’, has succeeded in re-establishing positive interest in the monarchy. Add to this the antics of Prince Harry and his ostensibly ‘easy’ relationship with the media and they appear more accessible and down-to-earth than ever before.
Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are now all used by Buckingham Palace, reaching a far wider audience than ever before, and the response from those that follow, like or view their photos on Flickr is overwhelmingly positive. This contrasts sharply with the difficult relationship they have had over the years with some traditional media outlets.
So, as the nation gears up to celebrate the Queen and all she represents this weekend there must be a feeling amongst the inner circle that, bar any disasters this weekend, they are on the right course and doing okay.
When what is being applauded is essentially the longevity of inherited privilege and at a time when the country is mired in a double-dip recession, that is no small achievement.