Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘could learn’ from Kate Middleton’s ‘nailed’ response to PR crisis

By Staff


Speculation about the Princess of Wales has been rife since her surgery in January, and now a PR expert argues Prince Harry and Meghan could learn a thing or two about her reaction to the outcry

The Princess of Wales has been giving a ‘masterclass’ in PR to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, according to an expert.

Despite Kensington Palace confirming on January 17 that Kate would be taking a step back from royal duties until Easter to recover from her ‘successful’ abdominal operation, conspiracy theories and cruel speculation about the princess have been rife. The ‘Kate-Gate’ trend continues to rumble on across social media, with wild accusations levied against the Firm, including talk of lookalikes and baffling claims Kate has been cloned.

The Mirror revealed earlier this week that the senior royal’s closest aides have been working around the clock to draw up a ‘PR plan’ for a seamless return to public life after such tumultuous fanfare. Two former aides, known for being “well-established public relations experts” have been drafted in by the team tasked with devising the mum-of-three’s new schedule after weeks of heightened scrutiny.

And now, PR and crisis management expert, Edward Coram-James, chief executive of Go Up, has revealed just how carefully Kate has been treading the online frenzy. He says she has been ‘nailing’ her response to the public outcry.

The princess has only been seen during unofficial outings – in the car with her mother Carole and husband William, and out shopping at their local farm shop in Windsor. Ed says the appearances send a very careful ‘message’ to the public.

“The only actions that Kate’s team has taken to date have also been (close to) pitch perfect,” the expert told the Mirror. “These are probably (but not definitely) highly curated and very much planned messages to the public. They give photographers the opportunity to photograph the princess, thus reassuring the world that the rumours have no footing.

“But, they are so unofficial – no public comment, no press release, no media interviews or press events, but instead unannounced and low-fuss outings with her family – that it gives plausible deniability to the royals in terms of making it appear uncontrived and without intention or agenda. A masterclass in crisis communications.”

The expert says that when the royal family stray from their time-tested mantra ‘Never complain. Never explain’, “all hell breaks loose.” Nodding to the Duke of York’s disastrous interview with Emily Maitlis, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell chat with Opera Winfrey, Edward said: “When things do go off script, it usually ends very badly for the royals that deviate”.

He compares the communication surrounding the two estranged brothers, William and Harry, and their wives, offering a scathing review of the Sussexes’ strategy. “From a PR point of view, the Princess of Wales is nailing it,” Edward asserted.

“Nothing gives credibility to conspiracy theories more than reacting to them and nothing frustrates people more than over-communicating. It’s one of the great lessons that should have been taken from the PR problems faced by the Sussexes in the past few years.

“One of the stunning differences between the Wales’ PR strategy versus the Sussexes is that Kate and William have worked out the importance of proper expectation management. By combining good, clear expectation setting that neither over nor underpromises, and then living out and adhering to the timeline that they have clearly laid out with no further fuss or comment, they get huge media attention, often with very little effort.

“Whereas the Sussexes, by not properly setting expectations, instead so often make a lot of noise and then over promise, and arguably not deliver. They exhaust themselves, and, arguably, the readers/viewers, and get very little positive press in return. In this case, Kate tells the world that she’s going off grid for three/four months, and that they won’t hear from her in that time.

“She then goes off-grid and people don’t hear from her. People decide that, actually, they quite want to hear from her and start to panic. The Princess of Wales, as usual, remains above the fray and stays true to her word. Then, by April, in all likelihood she’ll return to the public eye with no great fanfare, and with nothing more than a ‘well that was a whole load of fuss over nothing’ glimmer in her eye.”

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