EXCLUSIVE: Buckingham Palace has taken the step of registering web addresses for members of the Royal Family this month, in what appears to be a bid to protect the online image of the family, The Courtier has discovered.
The websites were registered by Buckingham Palace staff earlier this month.
Over 30 new web addresses in the names of members of the Royal Family were registered earlier this month by staff from the Palace’s Information Systems Management section, including domains for the Duke of Edinburgh, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Duke of Kent.
The bulk of names registered suggest that these will not in fact be used to create individual websites for the royals, at least at this early stage. The names were registered at the beginning of February, all following the same pattern and including among others, ‘earlandcountessofwessex.com’, ‘princessbeatrice.org’ and ‘thedukeofedinburgh.org’.
Many members of the Royal Family already have a strong digital presence including through websites and also social media. The Prince of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew already have their own websites, whilst other members of the family and The Queen continue to be covered by the official royal website.
Keeping up with changing technology is important to the Monarchy if it’s to remain relevant in order to connect with a new generation. The Duke of York himself took to Twitter last year, becoming the first member of the Royal Family to tweet personally and has since gained over 40,000 followers as he shares information about his role and work.
It’s well known that both the Duke of Edinburgh and Duke of York have a very keen interest in new technology and ‘keeping with the times’ – both often receive presentations from companies on new advancements in technology. Prince Andrew also noted in an interview last year how the whole Royal Family shared an interest in new technology, explaining: “the palace IT department are continually tested by the ‘early adoption gang’ [the family]“.
This latest move came just days after the merging of the press offices to become based at Buckingham Palace under the command of Sally Osman as the new Director of Royal Communications. The press affairs for all members of the Royal Family are now managed from the Palace instead of operating separately.
Since the relaunch of the Royal website in 2009, the Royal Household have begun taking their online presence more seriously, with the subsequent launch of a Facebook page and Twitter accounts for members of the Royal Family and a more interactive approach to the design of their websites.