There are many things most of us don't have in common with the royal family – fancy titles, famous friends, castles…to name a few. But, in our digital age, one of the greatest levellers has to be emojis - or rather, which ones we frequently use. Because these days, an emoji speaks a thousand words, and can reveal a lot about the person behind the screen.
Curious? Just ask Prince William, who revealed his favourite emoji in a recent radio interview with BBC’s Radio 1 Going Home show, and quite frankly, we’re obsessed. When William and Kate Middleton were asked about their most-used emojis, William joked that his was the Aubergine– which as we all know, has certain risqué connotations.
‘Is this a clean thing or is this a family one? I’ve been told not to say the aubergine, so I’ve got to pick something else,’ William told hosts Jordan North and Vicki Hope. ‘It would have been the aubergine but I’m saying now ― because I’ve got to be all grown up ― it’s the one where the eyes go up and down and the mouth’s out.’
The hosts jumped on William’s response, with North exclaiming ‘he said the aubergine emoji, this is brilliant!’ Hope agreed ‘He knows. He’s got a dirty mind.’
Kate chose to respond to the question in a less risqué way, revealing that her favourite emoji is (drumroll, please) ‘the heart with the then crying emoji,’ explaining ‘The sort of like “hysterical laughing” when things have gone wrong.’
But not so fast. In 2020, The Sun zoomed in on Kate’s screen to reveal what seemed to be her most used emojis – and it was an eclectic bunch. They were the Bowing Woman, Puff Of Air, Cucumber, Vomiting Face, Space Invader Monster, Swearing Face, Two Women Holding Hands and Pineapple. Of course, everyone had a lot of theories about that.
And let’s not forget Prince Harry. Back in 2020, authors Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie revealed in their book that Harry’s texts were ‘often short and full of emojis, in particular the ghost emoji, which he often used instead of a smiley face.’
All this has got us thinking: what do the royals favourite emojis reveal about them?
Let’s break it down. According to the Emojipedia, the ‘eggplant’ emoji is defined as ‘A long, bulbous, bright purple eggplant, or aubergine in British English, shown with a leafy stem. Considered lucky in Japan to dream of an eggplant the first night of the New Year. Widely used to represent a penis. Due to its phallic use, the hashtag [emoji] was once banned (2015) on Instagram's search function.’
Of course, there are times when the aubergine emoji is used innocently - say, if you were cooking a parmigiana and needed your friend to pick up some more supplies. In 2017, Ben Shephard revealed on Good Morning Britain how he misunderstood the aubergine emoji, after he received it from his friends. ‘What’s being implied by sending the aubergine?’ he said. ‘‘What happens if you’re a grocer and you like sending fruit and veg? You’ve killed them!’ So, without any context, we wouldn't want to speculate on the meanings behind anyone's use of said emoji. But it certainly shows that William has a laddish sense of humour.
The second emoji William chose is known as the Woozy Face or Zany Face. Conventionally, this is used when you've had one too many at the pub, but it can also mean all sorts, from feeling tired to confused and even a little bit smitten.
Now, on to Kate, whose emoji use seems to have toned down over the past three years. The heart is a classic staple emoji perfect for Kate - classy, chic, and appropriate for almost any scenario. Thanking someone? Heart. Telling someone you love them? Heart. It can even be used when delivering bad news to soften the blow, according to Gen Z.
When explaining her other favourite emoji, we think she is referring to the 'Face with Tears of Joy'. This has proven one of the most controversial emojis in the culture war between Gen Z and Millennials, with the former declaring it a sign you're showing your age (hello, Boomer). But, according to Emojitracker, the face was also the most used emoji in 2021 - which, in our eyes, proves once again that Kate is one of the most relatable royals.