British royals behind a bar – it’s a thing. A common photo op whenever they’re in Ireland, and typically it involves them pulling a pint which at this point has been overdone. So now we have an update on this regular royal move as Prince William and Kate are in Northern Ireland and today in Belfast they made cocktails. 


As we have seen over the last couple of years the couple formerly known as Cambridge and now Wales is trying to get down with social media. Making martinis is a good activity to use for a social media moment and Will and Kate did indeed take advantage of the opportunity to try and create one. Here’s what they’ve posted on Twitter: 


This was also posted as a story on Instagram and it’s cute. I mean it’s still in the same family as the pint-pulling but it’s nice to see them doing this with a Pride flag in the background and I like that shot of Kate giggling while she pours the cocktail. But the video has no sound. And for this kind of thing to really sing, you need sound. Like the whole point of social media is maximising engagement, breaking through allllll the other videos and memes and jokes out there to bring something fresh. And this is very much an action shoot – people know the sounds of a bar, people are familiar with hearing the ice crash into the shaker, the clinking of the stir stick against the glass…and we’re getting none of that here. 

Which is fine, because there are several scenes cut together, but some music would have really elevated it. And not instrumental music either, which is what the Waleses typically use when they post reels. For a video like this you need pop, you need a beat, you need that energy… 

But that’s tricky for them because of rights issues and association with certain artists and all the complicated protocols that come with being a member of the British royal family and what they can and can’t be connected to, even with something as simple as choosing a song for a social media post. So in this case there’s a limit to how effectively they can use the platform, which is an extension of how effectively they can really leverage their own personalities. And the reason why this is a discussion point is because it’s about communication, modern communication. 


Even for the royal family, social media has become a critical communication tool. They need to engage with people via social media, it’s part of their job now. Especially because they need to be able to reach a younger demographic, they need to reach out and build support among young people in the hopes those young people will endorse their royal existence. So they’re trying to speak that language – but they’re limited in how fluently they can speak that language, the social media language, because of their uptight royalness. This bartending video is an example of that and it’s going to be interesting to see how they navigate these creative constraints going forward as, more and more, social media is where the message must be.