Analysis by Charlie Proctor, Royal Central’s Editor-in-Chief
Social media accounts often make mistakes when scheduling tweets.
Anybody who follows @RoyalCentral on Twitter will know we sometimes accidentally send tweets out at 10pm instead of 10am on occasions – it happens no matter what steps you take to avoid it!
However, it is how the mistake is dealt with that is important.
If the Royal Household simply deleted the tweet, this would not be a news story.
But by blocking members of the public who simply sent a friendly comment in that they got the wrong date is not exactly a masterclass in PR.
Naturally, those have been blocked now feel a sense of anger, and so more damage has been done than good.
The official Twitter account of the Duke of York appeared to go into meltdown on Saturday morning after a series of bizarre occurrences.
The account, which belongs to Prince Andrew but is managed by his team, accidentally sent out a message wishing the Duchess of Cornwall a happy birthday two days early.
In the world of social media, scheduling a tweet can go wrong and if often does, but usually, the incident is forgotten about within a few minutes as even the Royal Household make mistakes.
However, in an unusual move for an official Twitter account belonging to a member of The Royal Family, the Duke of York started blocking members of the public who attempted to correct the mistake.
One Twitter user tweeted: “How does tweeting this, warrant a block from @TheDukeofYork? Sorry, your social media person doesn’t know when Camilla’s bday is.”
— Gert’s Royals (@Gertsroyals) July 15, 2017
Another tweeted: “OMG… I got blocked by @TheDukeOfYork for a totally innocent remark. Incredibly childish behaviour by (or in name of) the Queen’s son!”
— ♔ Arjan ♔ (@royalarjan) July 15, 2017
Some users later reported that they had been unblocked by the account, however, others have told Royal Central that they remain blocked despite doing nothing wrong.
One Twitter user, @trickehvickeh, spoke to Royal Central and said: “I was discussing, rather lightheartedly, a tweet that the Duke of York had sent out in error wishing the Duchess of Cornwall a happy birthday two days in advance.
“When I checked his account an hour or so later I saw that I had been blocked – a reaction I consider to be unnecessarily steep. I would say, however, that this is fairly typical of the Duke of York’s petulant attitude but I wish him well and the Duchess a happy birthday.”
Another Twitter user said: “I’m appalled by this. A royal, or his team, shouldn’t act this way. It’s unnecessary, childish and gives the bad example”.