But it’s the 21st century—this isn’t your father’s monarchy. You’re a brand, Your Majesty, and it’s important to communicate what your regime stands for. Assuming your subjects have Internet access, the Web is a valuable tool in conveying that message.
Just as there are different kinds of monarchies, so are there different styles of websites that represent them. If not for the tiaras and clusters of medals, one would think photogenic philanthropists and socialites comprise the monarchies of Denmark and Norway.
These sites give this visitor (granted, this citizen of a country that hasn’t answered to a king in 232 years) the impression of the classic benevolent and mostly figurehead king and queen: Each site has a history of the monarchy, lush photos of the palaces, a sprinkling of news and events, and—in the case of the Danish monarchy—a 200-word press release about a wedding cake.
On the other white-gloved hand, the website of the Swedish royal court boasts the obligatory tiara-and-medals-sporting folks, but there’s a lot more information on the homepage, and the layout and design make the monarchy look like a smoothly running conglomerate.
Some other constitutional monarchies, like Morocco’s, have a smaller Web presence, such as a section within the country’s governmental website. Not properly maintaining this section could possibly cause alarm: Residents of Lesotho, upon seeing “Website Not Available” on the monarchy’s homepage, might wonder whether they were in the midst of a forced regime change before confirming that the link to, as well as the reign of, His Majesty King Letsie III was still active.
The most famous extant monarchy, that of the United Kingdom, sets the gold standard for royal online kingdoms. We should probably say purple standard, because this regal color dominates the website. The homepage displays that almost paradoxical combination of modesty and opulence for which members of the Windsor family, with a few notable exceptions, are known: The most dominant image on the page is not Queen Elizabeth, but the Imperial State Crown.
Without even firing up any of the interior pages, the site is already a winner just based on the homepage, which is organized as well as one would expect of a “proper” brand: A balance of images, text, and links avoids bombarding the visitor with too much of any one element.
A narrow navigation banner across the very top contains the most important links. Beneath this, for about one-third of the page, are images. The title of the monarchy (i.e., the brand) is in a large, all-caps font across almost the center of the page. Beneath the title is a brief description of not only what the monarchy is but also the purpose of the site.
Below this text are news highlights, a list of “quick links,” and a lower-page navigation banner. Links on this lower banner allow you to view portions of the site in Cymraeg (Welsh) and Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic), as well as in (God save the Queen!) a text-only format.
The site contains more pages than there are former British Colonies in the Americas (over 250 links dot the site map alone), but order is maintained through various navigation bars, including one on the left side of the page that helpfully follows you if you scroll below the fold, and an occasional section at the bottom of some pages called Have You Seen... that directs you to related material.