Royal Fever

The weather isn't the only thing heating up this Spring in the United Kingdom - with record temperatures reaching 25°C, the country has also been gripped with fever in light of one of the most historic events in British history taking place in less than two weeks time. The Royal Wedding of Prince William with Catherine Middleton on the 29th April at Westminister Abbey, London will not only mark the betrothal of a future King but will also act as a benchmark of present and future styles of the twenty-first century.
With the internet awash with royal souvenirs and every other banner on your social networking sites and news pages reminding you to cash in from everything to coins, condoms and china, the high street is not missing out on any of the action and it is no more evident in my hometown of Windsor, Berkshire. Whether you're in need of Union Jack bunting and Long Live G&T cups (which I confess I had to purchase) for your street party or official merchandise from the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, every avenue for profit has been tread and this is only the beginning. Having just returned from a weekend in Berlin, even German national news is taking a bite out of the wedding cake and newspapers and tabloids are making sure daily coverage in the run-up to the wedding has dedicated columns on their front pages. Advertising agencies have been working on numerous commissions for UK brands since the announcement of the engagement in November that have seen a series of launches in the last week - one of my favourites being for television network provider Freeview who feature the corgis who starred in The Kings Speech.

Freeview HD, 2011
While I still find it frustrating at many who do not understand the revenue the Royal Family bring from tourism across the globe to the British Isles, a wedding of one of the most famous Royal families in history is like setting another profitable arm in the already-desirable machine that is the Royal 'Firm'. While the press will endlessly compare the couple to times gone by, it will be the social significance of a young royal couple that will dictate future history as well as act as a font of inspiration and emphasis of royal association on all aspects of the everyday. In the same way the Prince and Princess of Wales epitomised the Eighties and beyond, the world has rarely experienced the same fever effect that next week's wedding will ignite. As art historians, Prince William and Catherine Middleton will know too well they have the ability to forge a global renaissance under the wings of the British Monarchy. 2011 has already seen an unprecedented series of Royal stories broadcast from the international press on various members of the Royal family bringing their diary of events and anyone associated with it into the forefront, very much in response to public demand. The launch of Facebook and Twitter accounts, an official Royal Wedding website and even a YouTube channel that will live stream the day's events reflects how the Press Office at Clarence House and the Royal Household respectively have embraced the digital age with gusto with minute-to-minute news and updates that have attracted nearly half a million followers across all social network faces.

The Royal Channel, YouTube 2011
So while it may be the end for the tacky memorabilia in less than ten days time, it is only the beginning of generations following the styles and tastes of one of the first royal couples to date to be immersed in the digital age and more importantly, be the first to play a part in how high royal fever rises - if they have anything to do with the recent weather we're having I think even the anarchists will be won over! News from my weekend in Berlin coming soon...