Remember what I wrote last week when Prince William and Catherine of House Cambridge released their tenth anniversary short film? I called them influencers. They would never admit to it, because how dare we categorise them alongside the people inventing dances on TikTok and pimping vitamins on Instagram. But that anniversary video was 100% an influencer move. And now…
Will and Kate are on YouTube:
Let’s start with the positive. There are a couple of “candid” moments that the Cambridges have included here that show more of their personality, particularly Kate, and it’s good to see her loosen up, especially when she’s telling him at the end that he doesn’t need to roll his “r”. It’s a quick two seconds but it does give us some insight into what their relationship might be like, their dynamic – that she’ll check him, jokingly, and that she’s his best critic. And this is exactly how influencers can be successful: by showing people their personalities, getting people to relate to them, SHARING moments; emphasised there because SHARING is what social media is all about but not, necessarily, what the British royals are all about. I’m not sure colonisers even know what sharing means.
It’s just too bad that whatever good vibe Will and Kate are bringing to this is undermined by the total amateur hour that we’re getting here in the edit. Like, generously, this is beta test level influencer energy and skill. The cuts and shot transitions are super junior. In 2021, a ten-year-old could do a better job with this on an iPhone 6. This is what they would play at the Dunder-Mifflin corporate teambuilding retreat – and that’s fine for mid-budget companies on their company gatherings given their resources and the small internal audience they’re reaching, and it’s fine for volunteer groups who are putting together fundraisers…
But this is the future king of England and his wife, members of, allegedly, the most elegant and sophisticated family in the world, who have considerable wealth and, you would think, access to the best talent. You cannot tell me that they couldn’t hire people to do a better production on their FIRST YouTube video, come ON!
Is this the same crew that worked on the anniversary video? Because if so, we have regressed.
And we haven’t even talked about the music!
WHAT IS THIS MUSIC?!?
If you’re reading this, I think it’s fair to say we’ve all spent enough time online watching videos to know when a piece of music is badly paired to a video and when it’s well-suited to one. Sometimes being well-suited means not being remarkable at all. Athletic ads do a great job of this – where the music swells and dips at the key moments and gets you pumped but isn’t so punchy that it takes over from the video; you don’t remember it, but you remember its effect, like positive effect.
This music is so distractingly bad and mismatched, I can’t understand how anyone signed off on it. And how Will and Kate and their team signed off on it. Here’s how Duana described it: “whoever made this was a big deal at MTV UK in 1995, huh?” LOLOLOLOL
Now, to be fair to Team Cambridge and their video editors, music can be tricky because it has to be licensed. And for sure Will and Kate would have had to do all of this on the up and up because if they didn’t properly get rights to anything they use, they’d open themselves up to liabilities. But these days there are music licensing services that video production houses use all the time to mix into videos. It’s… kinda basic knowledge. The point is, there are libraries and libraries and catalogues and files out there – millions of them! –to use for videos like this without having to pay royalties to, Ed Sheeran, or whatever, for a soundtrack. And a lot of the tracks are perfectly serviceable, if not quite good. Better than whatever the f-ck this is, OMG.
So the fact that this is what they chose as their best option to launch on YouTube? It makes me think they have bad taste. Like, Prince William and his royal staff might know the difference between effective polo mallets and the best china to serve at a dinner but they don’t know what’s good in the culture…
Which is not a problem when you’re only spending time with earls and barons but it’s definitely a problem when you’re living that influencer life on social media – and, again, let’s not pretend they’re not influencers. They are 100% trying to follow the influencer playbook; they’re not very good at it but the point is, they’re trying. And they need help. Somebody please help them.
Before the next video. Before, I dunno, Kate gives us a sourdough edit or an eyeliner tutorial. No, but seriously, do you think that’s coming?