Royal Wedding App Attack

In What's the Buzz by Roger Tagholm

By Roger Tagholm and Edward Nawotka

HarperCollins has developed a Kings and Queens app for British historian David Starkey’s forthcoming Crown and Country that will include live TV coverage of the Royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29. The development, in conjunction with TradeMobile, is yet another example of the possibilities afforded by the digital space and the way publishers can use it to support or enhance print books.

The app’s content is based on Starkey’s book, published earlier this month, and will enable users to explore the two thousand-year history of the British Monarchy right up to the wedding which will streamed live by Sky TV, allowing it to be viewed on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  It includes multiple navigation pathways that enable users to browse through timelines, tap into family trees and explore maps and historical themes, as well as curatorial input from historical experts and educational specialists from the British Library and the British Museum.

Katy Whitehead, HarperCollins’ Head of Interactive Product, says: “There is nothing else in the apps space of such high quality for history.   We have high resolution images of monarchs and their times and innovative technology that offers users a uniquely interactive multi-layered reading experience. There is also feature TV commentary on all aspects of the Royal Wedding, including why fashionistas love Kate Middleton and how to be the perfect wedding guest.”

TradeMobile is a private company, established in 2005, with offices in London, New Zealand and Hong Kong, and specializing in developing proprietary platforms and targeted solutions to enable businesses to interact directly with their customers through their mobile (or cell) phones.

The app has a special price of £1.79 in the run-up to the wedding, after which it changes to £3.99. Will Whitehead be watching the wedding? “Of course,” says the Creative Writing graduate who, at the age of 25, has already written three novels. “I’ll be checking the feeds, making sure everything is running smoothly…” The app includes:

  • Extensive and exclusive video, allowing users to watch and listen to David Starkey at the same time as dipping in and out of the abridged text of Crown and Country.
  • A live stream of Sky TV coverage of the Royal Wedding available on the day.
  • Curatorial input from historical experts and educational specialists from the British Library and the British Museum.
  • Lavish illustrations, including high resolution images of monarchs and their times.
  • Innovative technology that offers users a uniquely interactive multi-layered reading experience.
  • Feature TV commentary on all aspects of the Royal Wedding, from why fashionistas love Kate Middleton to how to be the perfect wedding guest.
About the Author

Roger Tagholm

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Roger Tagholm is based in London and has been writing about the book industry for more than 20 years. He is the former Deputy Editor of Publishing News and the author of Walking Literary London (New Holland) and Poems NOT on the Underground (Windrush Press).