Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Royal visit: Governor-General's web page gets regal boost

Prince George during the Plunket get together at Government House.
Prince George during the Plunket get together at Government House.

Just over a week ago, the Governor-General's Facebook page was just another fairly ordinary page in the social media world.

Fast forward to today and it's one of the go-to places for people around the globe keen to see how the Royal Tour in New Zealand is going.

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae's page now has almost 10,000 fans.

Watch: Raw: Prince George's Plunket playdate

In the week since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son Prince George touched down in Wellington, almost 6000 people have followed the page.

A public affairs spokeswoman for Government House - who administer the page - said the social media uptake had been greater than expected.

"We've seen people following us on social media rising exponentially as a consequence of us posting pictures of the royal tour. We started at the beginning of the year with just over 3000 [followers] ... and there was a massive explosion when the royal visit arrived."

Gallery: The Royals head south

Status posts and photos of the royal family out and about are being engaged by more than 162,300 people - about 18 times his actual fanbase. That means thousands of people are commenting, liking or sharing the page's posts every day.

Probably the biggest attraction to the page is the fact the Governor-General's staff post real-time photos of Prince William and Catherine - and sometimes baby George - while they are on their engagements.

Unlike the hundreds of photographs that also promptly appear on international media websites, many of their pictures are unique, taken away from the media pack and therefore offering a different perspective or emotion.

Watch: Raw: Snapshot of Royal Prince George playdate


One of its most popular photos posted was at the second official tour engagement: A royal playdate with little George and 10 other babies at Wellington's Government House.

The photo is of Prince George leaning into his mother's shoulder, with a cheeky grin spread across his face. The Duchess too is smiling and Prince William can be seen just behind them.

The photo has almost 100,000 likes.

"That photo was an absolute juggernaut," the spokeswoman said.

"To get something like that, that was unprecedented. It went all around the world."

It seems that more young people, particularly those in New Zealand, have overnight become big fans of the Governor-General and latched on to the page.

The British Monarchy - which has 1.1 million followers on Facebook - has also been hugely popular for royal-watchers.

One of its most shared links was a photo of the royal family arriving in Wellington. Just over 900 people shared the picture and more than 15,500 people liked it.

Social networking sites Twitter and photo-sharing site Instagram have also been ablaze with royals footage and commentary this past week.

Hashtags trending on Twitter these past few days include #RoyalTourNZ and #NZroyalTour.

- NZ Herald

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