When dealing with a wedding of such high prestige, who would have thought the engagement announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton would have taken place over Twitter?
The news broke via a 132-character tweet from the Clarence House: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.” The sheer informality of the announcement makes this an interesting PR conversation.
Within minutes of the royal tweet, press releases exploded in the global media. Many of them discussed the standard wedding information: date, dress, venue etc. But unsurprisingly, this was also used as a PR opportunity for businesses in many industries.
Since the last royal wedding was way back in 1981, this royal escapade created the first ever social media #RoyalWedding frenzy. Not only did this put a spotlight on Britain and the Royal Family as a whole, it also sprinkled love and romance throughout the media – oh and it opened up the door to using the royal wedding for shameless publicity purposes. Its clear these businesses wanted a piece of the metaphorical royal wedding cake too.
Following the announcement, the No. Ten Manchester Street Hotel in London offered engaged couples named William and Kate chilled champagne and hot tea. T-Mobile released a video which featured their version of the royal wedding. This included royal look-a-likes dancing around and tons of brownie points (and probably new customers) for the timely ad. To top it all off, the food industry got involved and things got weird. Dunkin’ Donuts specially baked jelly-filled royal wedding donuts which paired nicely with Papa John’s royal pizza – an image of William and Kate recreated with pizza toppings.
Throughout the duration of the engagement, businesses world-wide took the opportunity to promote themselves through this ultra popular event. With the help of these bandwagon-ers, the royal wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine became one of the hugest public relations magnets in royal history.