What a wonderful picture that was of the Duke of Cambridge in a pub last Friday.
Surrounded by England fans watching their team against the Czech Republic, he appeared like any other supporter with a pint in his hand and a smile on his face.
William looked relaxed but, inevitably, he was there for more than the game.
Grin and bear it: With Chelsea boss Frank Lampard in a pub watching England lose 2-1 to the Czech Republic
For this was just one in a long line of images released by the Cambridges in the past year promoting the clear message: ‘We’re the Cambridges and we’re just like you.’
That is, an ordinary family, living an ordinary life, with the same worries and proud family moments as the rest of you.
From Louis’ first birthday pictures to Mum and Dad taking Charlotte to her first day at school — not to mention Kate in the cheap seats at Wimbledon — the couple have shown it is the simple things in life that bring happiness no matter how much privilege or money you may have.
They’ve done this while managing to promote the issues close to their hearts.
She’s great outdoors: The Duchess of Cambridge gets her gloves on to help inspire children to enjoy the wonders of nature in January
William is pictured at Roscor Youth Village, a residential youth activity centre in January of this year
Served royally: Preparing meals at The Passage homeless charity in London in February. William’s first visit was with his mother, Diana, in 1993
Take the photos of William in the pub (albeit with footballer Frank Lampard).
Alongside it was a serious message: ‘Imagine if we talked about mental health as much as we talk about football.’
The Prince was using his public profile to highlight the shocking rate of suicide among young men. It was a PR masterstroke.
The Royal Family has been badly dented of late so positive images like these must be welcome in The Firm.
In the past 12 months, the Cambridges have also released pictures on social media of William hugging staff at the Royal Marsden Hospital, leaping for joy watching his beloved Aston Villa get promoted, and dishing up dinner at a homeless shelter.
Down in the den: Thirty years after she was a Brownie, Kate has fun at the Scouts HQ in Gilwell Park, Essex in March
Support: After the Christchurch, New Zealand, terror attack, William visits a children’s hospital in the city in April
Team spirit: An ecstatic William cheers on Aston Villa’s Premier League promotion in May, left, while this delightful photo of George was released in July to mark his birthday
Who’s going to kick it off? England’s manager Gareth Southgate (far left) and footballing royalty join the Duke for a discussion about men’s mental health in May
But just two years ago the Duke’s PR wasn’t so rosy. He faced headlines such as ‘Workshy Will’ after he gave up his job as an air ambulance pilot.
In 2014 the couple were criticised for a £1.5 million refurbishment of Anmer Hall and Kate was admonished after installing a second kitchen in their Kensington Palace apartment.
Now — presumably following a strategy instigated by their communications team — the Cambridges have turned their image around.
Come on, the Villa: George looks thrilled as his dad’s favourite team beat Norwich City 5-1 at Carrow Road in October, left, while Louis, aged one, has a wild time at the Chelsea Flower Show’s Back To Nature garden in May
Smash hit: Sitting with UK tennis player Katie Boulter, the Duchess enjoys an unobtrusive Wimbledon visit
Early birds: The family takes a £73 budget morning flight from Norwich to Aberdeen in August, left, while the Duchess and Bake Off star Mary Berry are pictured together at RHS Garden Wisley in September
Social media gives them a chance to engage with the public on a level beyond anything they can achieve via mainstream media.
With Instagram, they are in control of the images they post and — crucially — can build a relationship with young people. It’s a wise investment.
After all, this is the generation who will be around to support William when he becomes King.
And if the number of followers’ ‘likes’ is anything to go by, the public are loving what they see.
A charming photo of Prince Louis in April, taken by his mother and released for his first birthday, got more than a million ‘likes’, as did little Charlotte’s first day at her big brother’s school, being delivered by her parents, just like thousands of four years olds all over the country.
William and Kate’s carefully crafted new public profile is building a colossal fan base that will set them and the monarchy in good stead for decades to come.
A piece of cake: Kate looks at ease in Deepdale Hall Farm, the home of the Brown family in Cumbria
New girl in school: Charlotte joins brother George for her first day at Thomas’s Battersea in London in September