Each royal family has its own way of dealing with the media. However, other European monarchies should follow the example of the Swedish Royal Family when it comes to their approach to the press. The Swedes are by far the most open and friendly of the royal families to the media. They are regularly releasing photos, especially of the younger generation, and have an active social media presence. Additionally, their press department is the nicest and most helpful of which many in the press have dealt with in their role.
For every official event a member of the Swedish Royal Family takes part in, the press department posts an article on the monarchy’s official website highlighting the engagement. They have a house photographer that accompanies all of them to these functions, as well. Often, images by the Royal Court are posted to the press section for the media to use in their articles about the event. Posts are also made on all their social media accounts.
For example, during the recent celebration of His Majesty’s 71st birthday, photos were quickly posted to their official website, Facebook and Instagram accounts. One featured an inside look in the Royal Palace while the Royal Family appeared on the balcony.
Additionally, the members of the Swedish Royal Family often speak to reporters at events, and they are also known to give interviews at events, for television, newspapers and magazines. Additionally, they allow cameras from SVT to follow them around throughout the year which is featured in an end of the year programme called Året Med Kungafamiljen on the channel at the end of December. Each member of the family is, in some way, featured during the hour-long special.
Princess Madeleine, the youngest of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia’s three children, has a personal Facebook page (and has since added an Instagram page since this article’s 2017 publishing) where she posts about her charities, as well as insights and a behind the scenes, look into their family life. Just last Christmas she posted an image of her two children with their cousin Princess Estelle at the Royal Palace’s Christmas party. The Swedish Royal Family is very open and beloved by the people in their country; this includes the press because transparency is paramount.
When a member of the press contacts the press department of the Royal Court, they promptly reply to your inquiry. This is in drastic contrast to the media department of, for example, the Danish Royal Family. Particularly for foreign media, receiving a response from the press office is slow – if one is sent at all. Additions to the media section are often a day or more after the event – especially for engagements of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. Furthermore, the monarchy just created social media accounts last year which is years after many of their counterparts across Europe. Needless to say, the relationship between the monarchy and press is not open or very good.
Another example is the Prince’s Palace of Monaco which rarely updates their Twitter page and posts to their Facebook page for engagements; however, often the posts are a few days after the event. Their website does not contain a press section or even a press contact, making inquiries on the family and their activities difficult; unlike the other monarchies in Europe, they also do not publish a court calendar.
The Spanish Monarchy, or Casa Real, should be commended for their openness, as well. Their social media is very active, and their press team have posted an article on their website within the day of the event. Additionally, they are quick to respond and are open to the media, too. The same can be said of the Grand Ducal Family’s press department. Although, the latter is slow to update social media and their official website. Both still pale in comparison to the Swedish Monarchy’s relationship with the media.
Monarchies should remember that the press can either help or hurt their popularity. Lack of cooperation with the media only leads to negative stories that have the potential to directly impact the approval rating of said monarchy. They have to be careful because if their popularity falls so far, referendums could be held to abolish the monarchy altogether. Little or negative press coverage of their charities and patronages also serves as a disservice to the organisations they have affiliated themselves with. If media teams of monarchies do not release information or answer questions about charitable events, it has the potential to lead to an unfortunate lack of awareness and funding for the charity due to it not being reported. I think the royals in other countries who reign under a constitutional monarchy should look to the Swedish Royal Family and take heed of their actions and relationships to the press and the citizens of their country.