No doubt there are many reasons the Waleses have seen a surge in popularity.
There’s the dedication to duty and the generous good humour cultivated by both William and Kate. Who wouldn’t want to meet them, singly or together?
At 41, the Prince and Princess have the advantage of relative youth and three charming children, a walking advert for domesticity.
All these things and more help explain why, according to a recent MailOnline poll, William is the most popular living royal with Catherine a close second. Even the New Yorkers seem to think so, turning out in hordes for William’s solo visit last week.
Only the late Queen Elizabeth is viewed as having made a more positive contribution to the monarchy than William.
William and Kate have accepted the power of social media – and, as a result, seem more approachable. Here William poses for a fan on his recent solo trip to New York
It was the same routine in Bournemouth just a few days ago. Here he helps a young fan in Pret A Manger
The father-of-three seemed happy to embrace the selfie generation – almost literally
The Princess of Wales smiles and takes pictures with well-wishers during visit the Dog & Duck Pub ahead of the Coronation Weekend during their visit to Soho in May
This is no accident.
Much thought has gone into the way that William and Kate project themselves – and not least into a highly effective media strategy based on ‘selfies’ and artful video clips made by their own in-house videographer.
Available on social media soon after a royal visit, these short clips have increased the sense of accessibility and allowed the Waleses to operate more flexibly and without the encumbering retinue of journalists and cameramen that might have been expected in previous times.
Is it possible that William and Kate have learned something from those skilled ‘curators’ of their own image, Harry and Meghan? It certainly looks that way.
It’s not so long, after all, since William, Kate – and, for that matter, Charles – seemed suspicious of the camera lens.
The late Queen was heard to comment how disappointed she was to be greeted by a wall of camera phones rather than a sea of faces.
The new generation of selfie-savvy royals seems to have no such concerns.
Just recently, William patiently posed for selfies as he met with members of the public outside of Pret A Manger in Bournemouth.
The father-of-three was pictured happily agreeing to the requests by putting a friendly arm around well-wishers as they took selfies on their mobile phones.
On Sunday, the Prince went out of his way to chat to a wheelchair user who appeared to have asked him for a photo at the Rugby World Cup 2023.
Prince William who had been watching the Wales v Fiji match in the Rugby World Cup stopped to chat and take a photo with a fan
Kate Middleton meets well-wishers during a walkabout on the Mall outside Buckingham Palace in May
The Princess of Wales poses for a selfie with a concert-goer during a walkabout meeting members of the public on the Long Walk near Windsor Castle in May
The Prince and Princess of Wales pose for a selfie photograph with members of the public during a visit to Glasgow in 2022
William gets into the spirit with members of the public in Birmingham earlier this year
The video, taken from above and posted on Twitter by a user named Isa, shows William at the end of the match and being led through a crowd of people.
As he walks across the blue carpet following Wales 32-26 defeat of Fiji, a man in a wheelchair catches his attention and the Prince instantly stops to walk over to him and have a chat and the pair then pose for a photo taken
This came just months after King Charles and Queen Camilla’s Coronation celebrations, where William and Kate showed off their easy charm with the public as they posed for selfies in Soho on the eve of the historic event.
The royal couple were all smiles as they posed up a storm with well-wishers outside the Dog and Duck pub in central London.
The pair were also seen holding hands with people in the crowd as they chatted with excited bystanders – signalling yet another move towards a more personable approach at royal engagements.
They showed their natural rapport with members of the public at Royal Liverpool University Hospital earlier this year – shortly after Prince Harry’s memoir Spare was released – as they posed for photos on fans’ personal phones.
William even used fans wanting a selfie to his advantage when he completed a stint as a Big Issue seller last year.
He agreed to pose for one with them – so long as they bought a copy of the magazine, which raises money to help tackle homelessness.
The late Queen Elizabeth II was not a fan of selfies and would politely decline if ever asked to take one, as she was thought to prefer eye contact. However, this was more of a personal preference than a rule of any kind.
William has previously joked that he is ‘allergic to selfies’ while Harry once told a teenager that ‘selfies are bad’ and told her to ‘just take a normal photograph’ when she requested one in Australia in 2015.
But luckily for royal fans, the future king has since changed his tune.
The mother-of-three poses as she visit the Royal Liverpool University Hospital with Prince William in January this year
The Princess of Wales visits the Kirkgate Market in Leeds and speaks to members on walkabout in January
Prince William meets groups of young Ukrainian refugees at Hala Koszyki Food Hall in Warsaw, Poland earlier this year
The royal stopped to take photos after meeting with a group of Ukrainian refugees
Locals take a selfie with Catherine and Prince William in Trench Town, the birthplace of reggae, in Kingston, Jamaica, 2022
The Prince of Wales meets members of the public and takes selfies after a visit to The Street – a community hub in Scarborough – in November 2022
The then Duchess of Cambridge takes a selfie with a child during a visit to a Fish Fry in 2022
Kate meets members of the public on the final day of their Royal Tour of Canada in 2016
Although he had previously admitted to hating selfies, the King was among the first royals to be seen stopping for a snap with fans after cheeky scaffolder Sam Wayne took a picture with him in 2014.
Two years, Sam, from Redruth in Cornwall, reduced, Kate to fits of giggles as he snapped a selfie with them on a tour of a housing development in the county.
Prince William pushed the trend further in 2014 when he actually took the picture himself while posing for a snap with a schoolgirl after she visited the Sandringham Estate on Christmas Day.
The Duke of Cambrideg ended up photographing himself with the schoolgirl, Madison Lambe, 12, because she was too nervous to press the button on her phone.
William seems to have grown more accustomed to the selfie over the years, with the royal melting hearts when he put his tour of Ireland on hold to stop for a selfie with little girl Jennifer Malone in March 2020.
Kate has always seemed to be comfortable with the selfie, going viral in 2014 when she took a snap high-fiving a youngster in Christchurch before posing with various well-wishers on a walkabout in Sydney.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry welcomed the selfie after marrying Meghan Markle in 2018 when the pair happily posed for several photos with royal supporters during their 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
A royal fan gets close to Prince William during a walkabout on The Mall ahead of the Coronation
Prince William took the picture himself while posing for a snap with schoolgirl Madison Lambe after she visited the Sandringham Estate on Christmas Day in 2014
Kate has always seemed to be comfortable with the selfie, going viral in 2014 when she took a snap high-fiving a youngster in Christchurch
Queen Consort Camilla has long been on board with the selfie, having posed with various fans over the years.
In June 2016, she proved she’s a good sport by snapping a selfie with staff member Biffy Mackay, 27, at the Social Bite café in Edinburgh, which feeds, trains and employs members of the homeless community.
Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh has also been spotted indulging fans who asked for a selfie when she smiled with a group of youngsters while previously attending the New Forest and Hampshire County Show.
As royal selfies appear to become more commonplace, fans may consider the practice a sign of a monarchy that is becoming more modern, as King Charles takes the reins – with William and Kate at the forefront.