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A new look website for the Dutch Royals throws a spotlight on social media

Royal watchers around the world will be delighted – the Dutch Royal Household has just relaunched its official website. The brand new format at www.koninklijkhuis.nl can also be accessed in an English language version at www.royal-house.nl. And one of the ways this royal family announced the changes was by taking to Twitter.

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King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

The relaunch comes just weeks ahead of the State Visit to China by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima which is expected to attract global attention. The Dutch Royal Family has had a high profile web presence for several years now but the site had been in the same format for much of that time. Its new look shows that having a strong web and social media presence is now a must for royal households around the world.

Nearly all of Europe’s ruling houses have accounts on major social media sites – in fact, it’s more rare to find one that doesn’t use at least one of the main outlets. When it comes to Twitter followers, the Royal Family leads with way with 1.36 million following the @BritishMonarchy account. Clarence House has 492,000 followers and @KensingtonRoyal has built up an audience of 564,000 since joining in January this year.

That figure is perhaps not surprising given that in the last nine months there have been several major events for the account to highlight including the birth and christening of Princess Charlotte and Prince Harry’s visit to New Zealand and Australia. And despite being the newest royal account, Kensington Royal has the highest following on photo centred Instagram – 668k compared to Clarence House’s 126k.

Our Royal Family isn’t the only one to use a wide range of social media sites to share information than has been available in the past. This summer, Sweden’s Royal Family joined Instagram adding the account to its already popular Facebook and You Tube presence. Since it launched earlier this year it’s picked up almost 84,000 followers while Princess Madeleine of Sweden makes good use of social media, often sharing new photos of her children on her Facebook site.

The willingness to share information perhaps shows that the way royals communicate is changing. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and You Tube all allow millions of people instant access to sharing photos, comments and thoughts. A royal attending an event can find their image sent round the world in nanoseconds now thanks to social media sites. Being a big part of a big communication tool makes perfect sense and the fact that this presence is being redefined as trends change shows how seriously social media is taken.

Picture credit: World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr

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