The official website of The British Royal Family has been given a major overhaul and will have a soft launch this evening before replacing the current site next week.
The two sites will run concurrently with each other before the current www.royal.gov.uk is turned off. Visitors can browse to the new site at: www.royal.uk. It is the first time in eight years to make it more user-friendly, particularly for those utilising mobile devices.
The significant amount of text that currently appears on the site will be replaced with colourful images, video footage and quotes. All Royal Family social media channels will be renamed ‘The Home Of The Royal Family.’
Since the monarchy has embraced social media, links to the various social media pages with updates will be featured on almost every page. The monarchy has a following in the millions over all its social media channels.
They currently have 2.5 million likes on the official Facebook page, 2.12 million followers on the British Monarchy Twitter account, more than 15,000 followers on Flickr, almost 150,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel, set up in 2007, and one million followers on the kensingtonroyal Instagram account. Updates on the Queen and members of her family can be found on Twitter @BritishMonarchy; the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall’s account is found @ClarenceHouse, and the work of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry can be located at @KensingtonRoyal.
A Buckingham spokeswoman said: “The public expect to be able to engage with the role and work of The Queen and the Royal Family in ways they are familiar with. The new royal.uk site is more flexible in terms of accessibility, visually engaging in its appeal, easier to navigate and search, and is more interactive. It is also much easier to update regularly with content from numerous sources including charities and members of the public who benefit from their work.”
The site was said to come in well under budget; though the actual cost of its design by digital firm Reading Room will not appear in the annual budget. The digital team had this to say about the site and how it will be able to better serve the nearly 12 million anticipated annual visitors: “The site’s fresh new look is also aimed at reaching out to people across the Commonwealth, where nearly 60% of the population is under 30 and mobile communication is popular.”