What Lies Beneath our Obsession with Kate and William?

December 11, 2012

Ireland, a nation proud of their heritage, a nation who are often overtly patriotic both home and abroad, a nation who frequently hate to be compared to the British – yet are extremely interested in British affairs.

When Google released the top searches for Ireland last year, Pippa Middleton was the fastest rising searched for person in 2011 after her appearance at her sister, Kate Middleton’s royal wedding to Prince William. By contrast Kate Middleton was number 5 on the list of the fastest rising people.

So, in the last week, again we have seen the royals top our search interests with the announcement of the royal pregnancy. Whilst the media in the UK are in a frenzy following this breaking story it is also headlined in the Irish media. The Irish Times announced “Kate Middleton Pregnant and Ill in Hospital” The Journal.ie reported that their article on the pregnancy was the most read story of the last 24hrs (at time of publication) and then proceeded to do a poll on whether the Irish nation cared or not about the Kate’s pregnancy.

 
kate

 

So, what is the Irish obsession with the British Royals, are we genuinely interested, are we nosey? Do we see it as a form of light and positive news relief in the tough times? Or is it simply the era of the celebrity?

It seems that the market for celebrities has grown. Humans have always created heroes and gods and they have always gossiped, this psychological need has now become a lucrative business. Five years ago the Daily Mail’s penetration in the online world was non-existent in Ireland, now you would be hard pushed to find a female in the 18-35 year-old bracket who doesn’t have the app on their smart phone.

It seems that with the penetration of social media, the era of the celebrity is not going to die anytime soon with daily stalking of your favourite celebrity or in some cases royal family. After all, humans are social species and it is no surprise that we are interested in what those at the top of the social food chain are doing or wearing, we are looking to them for social cues – it makes evolutionary sense.

– Oilbhe

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