Royal Wedding in Communications and Storytelling Context

What in the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 captured people’s attentions and emotions ?

What would engage an estimated 2 billion people who watched or listened to live media broadcasts of the wedding?

Communications Goal:

Essentially, it was a story of love and celebration of partnership that engaged people around the world

Specifically, it is the story of two young people in love and their celebration of marriage. The wedding represented love, happiness, and promise of partnership between William and Kate. Given the people involved and their relations and backgrounds, there was pomp and magnificent displays, but the wedding could also be considered to show the pleasures of a modern, elegant, and down to earth wedding. The celebration also contained the hope for a bright future for the couple in the British monarchy and the royal family of the Commonwealth realms.

Royal Wedding 2011 in the Context of Communications, Marketing, and Event Planning

The media, marketing channels, and event organizers recognized the story of the royal wedding and how it could engage people.

Target Audience

People around the world like those in the Commonwealth of Nations wanted to capture emotions and moments of the royal wedding or experience parts of it through:

  • a piece of the happy moments,
  • ceremonial splendour,
  • the elegance of the wedding, and
  • share in the celebration.

To cater to this audience, events, products, and buzz were generated.


Events were held in the spirit of the royal wedding from children’s events, schools, businesses, and entertainment venues and outdoor parties with people dressing up, combining events with the media broadcasts, and majestic decorations and accessories among other things.


Commercial products were promoted featuring the wedding in some way similar to the events. Advertisers also used the wedding and royal elements in their marketing tie-ins and to prepare for the upcoming spring and summer season of weddings.

Souvenirs and memorabilia were also made to celebrate the event.


The wedding dominated social discussions, media, and social media on the internet (e.g. Twitter #RoyalWedding hashtag) in the weeks around the royal wedding in April and May 2011 ensuring it was in the minds of many people plugged into media or those interacting with people (word of mouth) who were engaged by the royal wedding.


The large amount of engagement and buzz the royal wedding generated shows a story of love and the celebration of a royal wedding between two young people with respectable backgrounds can capture the hopes, emotions, hearts, and attentions of millions (if not billions) of people.

Metrics of the Royal Wedding’s Media Engagement

The Wikipedia article of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton cites several interesting metrics from news sources about how engaging the royal wedding was:

  • “It was estimated that the coverage would be watched by two billion people worldwide”
  • Viewership of the wedding was recorded by electricity use in Ontario [a province in Canada], where, at the approximate moment Middleton arrived at Westminster Abbey [… there was …] recorded a 300 megawatt drop in electricity use, which was attributed to [… people stopping their regular morning routines and watching the ceremonies …] rather than make breakfast or shower, and watch the TV.
  • In the [United Kingdom] UK the National Grid reported a huge surge in demand for power after the service, equivalent to one million kettles being boiled, when the royal couple returned to Buckingham Palace.

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