Harry and Meghan – we examine the Royal media frenzy

Written by Emily K

Following the exciting news that Prince Harry will be marrying his long-term girlfriend Meghan Markle, the duo chose Nottingham’s Lace Market – on the very same street as our PR offices – for their first Royal engagement.

The visit gave a taster of the media attention to come, with press and social media platforms a-buzz with updates and speculations, about the most down to earth of the Royals and his American sweetheart.

Upon announcing the upcoming nuptials, worldwide congratulations flooded in from the public, political figures and celebrities, nodding to the massive support base Harry and Meghan have ahead of their spring wedding.

Royal weddings have always gathered an incredible amount of media attention. The ceremony joining the Queen and Prince Phillip gained over 200 million world-wide listeners when it was broadcast on the radio in 1947. Similarly, when Prince Charles wed Lady Diana Spencer, 750 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the celebration on TV.

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot in 2011, the saturation coverage indicated a reinvigorated affection for the Royal family, perhaps buoyed by Prince William being our future King.

On the BBC’s online live coverage page, an impressive nine million views were racked up with 24. 5 million people watching on TV, and 2 billion people in more than 180 countries estimated to see reports, photos and news of the big day. It has since been documented that 8,500 journalists in London alone were tasked with covering the story.

The added presence of social media meant the public could view live updates with ease, as they attended thousands of street parties that scattered the streets of Great Britain. On Facebook, 2.8 million people in the UK and America had written status updates about the celebration 24 hours prior to the service. Meanwhile, on Twitter, there were 237 posts per second.

These astounding statistics prompt the question: will Harry and Meghan’s wedding generate the same interest? After all, unlike his brother, Prince Harry is only fifth in line to the throne.

Traditionally, however, Prince Harry has captured more headlines. There was the 2002 scandal of under-aged drinking and cannabis abuse when Harry was only 16. Just a few years later, he was in the headlines again for wearing a Nazi costume to a fancy-dress party. The most recent incident, in 2012, resulted in nude photos of the Prince in Las Vegas being splashed across newspapers, magazines and social media sites around the world.

Meghan Markle, too, is no stranger to the public spotlight. She first found fame with acting success, from roles in Suits, 90210, CSI: Miami and General hospital, which gave her a platform to express her passion for humanitarian work and a commitment to gender equality. She famously called for women to get a seat at the table, and challenged the dated views of a ‘woman’s role’.

With fame comes opportunity, but also a responsibility,” she told Elle Magazine in 2016. Since this, she has become a global ambassador for World Vision and travelled to Rwanda to see the positive impact of clean and safe water.

Based on the number of news teams which headed to Nottingham to capture the couple’s first joint Royal visit, the scene seems to be set for a Royal wedding on a colossal scale. The public certainly seem to have taken Harry and Meghan to their hearts.

We’ll be keeping up to date with our favourite Royal two-some, and hoping they return to Nottingham soon.

If you’re looking to for national – or international – exposure, please contact our experts in media relations at The Tonic. Prince Charming not required.


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