It’s been two months since King Charles III ascended to the throne, and the royal family has begun to solidify a new set of traditions for his reign. One annual easter egg from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II is still in full force. The palace social media have changed their display pictures in advance of Remembrance Day this Sunday, showing the principals with the traditional poppy pins on their lapels.
For Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, this meant replacing a photograph taken during an event at the Balmoral War Memorial in Scotland in May 2020 with an image of the couple at a 2009 Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa. Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Prince and Princess of Wales, changed their display pictures as well, replacing a light-hearted shot from their 2020 tour of Ireland right before the pandemic. On Twitter and Facebook, both couples used photographs of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey as their header images.
Though the royals have had a Twitter account since 2009—their first handle was @BritishMonarchy—the tradition of changing their profile pictures to honor the holiday for fallen soldiers seems to date back to 2020, when ceremonies were scaled back due to the pandemic. Social media has become an increasingly important part of the family’s communications strategy, especially after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hired David Watkins, a fashion PR veteran to run their social media in April 2019. He joined Kate and William’s staff after Meghan and Harry’s royal exit.
The family first announced the queen’s death on Twitter, and in the days that followed, the changes to their social media accounts were their primary routes for sharing condolences and adopting new titles. Charles and Camilla closed their former Clarence House accounts, and began using the broader royal family account to disseminate their photos and news. William and Kate are still using the KensingtonRoyal accounts they once shared with Harry and Meghan with but in the wake of the queen’s death, they changed their display names to reflect their new titles, first the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, followed by the Prince and Princess of Wales.
On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced that the king will lead events at the annual Cenotaph ceremony on Remembrance Day and will lay a newly-designed wreath paying tribute to his mother and his grandfather, George VI. The wreath will be black with poppy decorations and will also feature his racing colors, scarlet, purple and gold. Camilla will watch from the balcony, and William, Kate, Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Anne will also attend.
Camilla began the family’s observance on Thursday at the 94th opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, but the working members of the family have been wearing poppies on their lapels since the beginning of November. During an engagement at a children’s center on Wednesday, Kate gave her poppy to a three-year-old boy.
“Do you know what this is for?” she asked. “It’s for remembering all the soldiers who died in the war. There you go—that’s for you.”
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