A right Royal mess!

Our very own Tina has had a very busy start to the week. She was called up first thing for her expert PR take on the recent doctored image released by The Prince and Princess of Wales. Her comments will be used by Gem FM every hour on the hour throughout the day (Monday, March 11) 

Here she gives her opinion on the scandal and offers some insight from a PR point of view. 

The Royal Family does like to get itself in a pickle, doesn’t it? The Royals have had a questionable approach to public relations over the years, and I think that a particular low point for them was their response to the death of Diana.

Dubbed by the late Queen herself as her ‘annus horribilis’, the period saw the then Prince of Wales separate from Diana and her sensational portrayal in Andrew Morton’s biography – a de facto autobiography, which painted her as a betrayed bulimic who was severely failed by the Royal Family.

After Diana’s death, the headlines did nothing to improve the Royal Family’s ‘stiff upper lip’ approach to the situation. Meanwhile, the public demanded words of comfort from ‘the top’.

The response exposed the Royals as bewildered and out of touch.

Despite this criticism, you may be forgiven for thinking that I am not keen on the Royal Family. In fact, I am a huge fan and it pains me to see them drop the occasional clanger.

In recent years, the PR approach has been fascinating to watch, and the Prince and Princess of Wales have, in my opinion, nailed their PR strategy over the last few years.

That is until yesterday! To distribute a doctored image when there is already so much speculation around the health and whereabouts of the Princess of Wales is problematic on so many levels.

The photo agencies are professionals, and they called it. They know what they’re doing, and it would do their own reputations no good at all if they were found to be issuing doctored images unknowingly.

This is a huge PR failure by the Royals. PR maybe about spin and emphasising the positives, but it is certainly NOT about lying.

The Royal Family has a solid duty of care to their public, and part of that is to tell the truth.

There has already been so much speculation online about The Princess of Wales and, the doctored image might lead many to assume that Kate’s condition is much worse than previously claimed.

Otherwise, why would they issue it? It also makes them appear untrustworthy – which would be a massive blow for the previously “adored” couple.

The family would have been much better off by issuing a further written comment, or by issuing a factually correct image. What do they do now?

I would suggest that they ensure that The Princess of Wales is seen very soon. We would be well within our rights to expect the original image to be issued, although the Palace has already stated this would not be happening. At the very least, they should take stock of their PR approach to tell the public exactly why the released image was doctored. Was Kate even in the original photo?

Who knows? Well, the Royal’s do, but the public are none the wiser!