William and Kate's social media switch up: Cambridges using their social media presence more like Meghan and Harry, says expert

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
There's been a change in the way William and Kate use social media. (WireImage)

Prince William and Kate changed their social media tactics at the perfect time as they took cues from Harry and Meghan’s style, according to an expert.

Royal fans will have noticed a change in the way the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are using Instagram and Twitter of late, not least as Kate spent the weekend leaving personal comments on entries for her Hold Still photo project.

The couple hired David Watkins, who used to work for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they were senior royals. He started working for the Cambridges shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan formally stepped back.

Popular culture expert Nick Ede, who runs East of Eden, said the changes they have made were welcome and the Sussexes stepping back combined with the coronavirus pandemic meant it has been perfect timing.

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Ede said: “I think that it is fascinating to see how Kate and Williams are using social media and how it has changed significantly in the past few months.

“Previously it was used as a way of pushing out images and statements but they were posts that were there to give ‘news’ rather than an insight into who they are. As future King and Queen they have seen that they must progress and use social media as a device that it was created for - to communicate, interact, inform and create conversation.

“By allowing comments and responding themselves to some this shows they are in touch with their supporters and genuinely want to interact with them.

“This change has come due to a new social media team and it’s perfect at this current time when people want more and also in lockdown people are searching and using social media even more.

“The tone and methods have changed to make them seem more accessible, using video content to illustrate their work and what they have been up to and also pushing other channels like youtube and facebook shows that they are steadily building their own content that will be around for a long time.

“All in all this is a really great move for the couple making them more accessible and building on making them even more popular.”

The Sussex Royal account set a Guinness World Record when it launched, becoming the fastest ever to reach 1 million followers.

William and Kate hired Harry and Meghan's old social media expert. (Getty Images)

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They had more than 11 million when they had to mothball the account on 31 March as they stepped back from their senior royal roles and agreed not to use the word royal in any branding.

Friends actor Jennifer Aniston set a new record when she joined Instagram - hitting 1 million followers half an hour quicker than the Sussexes.

Ede added: “They have definitely seen how well the Sussexes did with their online profile and they created a brand from the get go.

“The Cambridges started their social media more as an add on but now they are using it like the Sussexes did as an extension of them and their own brand which is a very good thing to see.”

Having been let go by Prince Harry, 35, and his wife Meghan, 37, when they closed their London office, Watkins has confirmed he started working for the Cambridges at the beginning of April.

His job title is now “digital communications and social media” so he could have been hired to help the duke and duchess replicate the success of SussexRoyal on their own account.