Reality vs. Royalty: Enough of the ‘Negatives’


Over the past three years, I’ve managed to take only one decent photo of my kids with my phone. In every attempt, they’re either looking in different directions, or one of them storms off in a huff—only to be coaxed back, displaying a notably miserable expression. Achieving a snapshot worthy of my phone lock screen feels nearly impossible.

For years, the Royal Family has been known to photoshop their photos. It’s an open secret—they know it, and they know we know it.

We’ve come to terms with the fact that their Christmas cards and Kate’s meticulously crafted images of the children, all looking inexplicably joyous while gazing directly at the camera—a feat I’ve never accomplished—would never be admitted into evidence in any court of law. They are, essentially, works of fiction. We recognise them as representations of an idealised monarchy, an illusion that we willingly embrace. After all, who wants reality? Reality is often unsightly and unpleasant; we crave the fairy tale. So, why the fuss?

At times, ‘the media’ (yes that is a thing) can indeed conjure up a storm. Recently, issuing a Mandatory Kill Order—reminiscent of something out of a James Bond film—several news agencies signaled for the photograph to be retracted. Ironically, this demand only amplified attention, creating a story in its own right. Some have suggested that regulations on image manipulation have tightened, but regardless, the media frenzy generated a narrative that captivated billions worldwide, achieving massive hits, views, like and shares. In effect, attempting to suppress the story only propelled it onto a global stage. A stroke of genius.

While the commentary might seem overly critical of the Princess, the reality is that William and Kate have inadvertently created a content vacuum which has now been filled with conspiracy theories and Royal tittle-tattle. The late Queen Elizabeth II understood the necessity of the monarchy’s need to be seen to be believed – even if that meant inaugurating a shopping center in Grimsby (apologies to Grimsby) – to maintain the royal concept.

Currently, with Kate in recovery, William supporting her and his family and the King unwell, the Royal Family finds itself with few ‘spares’ to sustain the news cycle and promote the royal brand. However, this situation underscores the global fascination with the monarchy, which, when leveraged as soft power and a magnet for tourist hard currency, undoubtedly benefits Britain.

In a world obsessively following the Royal Family’s every move, the line between reality and royalty has grown increasingly ‘blurred’. Perhaps it’s time to grant a mother her due rest. The customary royal-themed branded content will resume soon.

Disclaimer: Please note that this image has been modified by The 10 Group