Scotland Times

Sunday, Apr 21, 2024

Prince William and Kate: The PR missteps that overshadowed a royal tour

Prince William and Kate: The PR missteps that overshadowed a royal tour

Quite how defeat was plucked from the jaws of victory in Trench Town, Kingston, may one day become the stuff of public relations legend.

Palace staff must be wondering how the defining image of the Cambridges' trip to the Caribbean was not the explosion of joy and pleasure that greeted the couple in downtown Kingston.

But instead, what looked to many as some sort of white-saviour parody, with Kate and William fleetingly making contact with the outstretched fingers of Jamaican children, pushing through a wire fence.

It was a bad misstep for a couple who are surprisingly media-savvy. And it was not the only one on this curiously disorganised trip.

The first engagement in Belize was hurriedly cancelled following a protest by some residents. Another protest - albeit a small one - popped up on the day they arrived in Jamaica.

The Jamaican prime minister declared, as the couple stood mutely beside him, that he would rather not have the Queen as head of state any more.

And the Land Rover ride out of the military commissioning parade may have been intended as a charming homage to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who rode in the same vehicle back in the 60s.

But to some it just felt like a clunky reminder of a more deferential time.

It is worth noting that lots of things went really quite well. Prince William's speeches were thoughtful and well received.

The Land Rover was a nod to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh but may have felt like a reminder of more colonial days

England footballer Raheem Sterling also greeted fans who had come to see him and Prince William play football

In Jamaica he went further than any member of the Royal Family, speaking of his sorrow at and abhorrence of slavery.

And he went out of his way to celebrate the contribution that Jamaicans have made to Britain in the years since World War Two.

It was a reminder of the depth and complexity of the relationship between two very different nations.

During event after event, the couple did that royal thing of sprinkling a little magic and a little joy into people's lives.

They thanked those who so often go un-thanked and unrewarded for their efforts, drawing attention to stubbornly unfashionable causes and issues.

And they got a warm reception pretty much wherever they went.

While in Trench Town the royals joined in with reggae musicians as they visited the neighbourhood where Bob Marley grew up

Crowds came out to greet the Cambridges on their visit to Trench Town

No more so than in Trench Town in Kingston where wild cheers accompanied their every step and a walkabout at one point threatened to go out of control with excited people pressing them on every side.

So how did Trench Town end up as a PR disaster? Bad planning and bad execution are part of it.

It's been more than two years since the last tour and the Cambridges' team sorely lacks experience in setting up a long and complex trip.

It only takes one thing, one moment, to overshadow days of good works.

There have been a fair few of those things.

The whole fingers-through-the wire moment was avoidable.

"It's really unfair," complained one senior British diplomat of the critical coverage. But since when was life - or social media - fair?

And the world has changed, very fast, since the last tour.

Black Lives Matter has changed many perceptions. And the declaration by Barbados of a republic late last year has changed things too.

There is no longer the forgiveness there once was for the slightly tone-deaf moment.

The Cambridges were met with an explosion of joy in downtown Kingston

The Land Rover might have seemed like a good idea at the time. But on the day it felt like one more reminder of colonial days.

Times have changed. The Royal Family have in the past been pretty good at changing with them. But not on this tour.

And second chances are these days few and far between.


Related Articles

Scotland Times
UK Island Orkney council to look at proposals to become territory of Norway
Woman Awarded Over £100,000 After Being Fired for Transgender Tweet
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
A Real woman
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Democracy? Not for UK. UK PM rejects Scottish independence referendum, cancel democracy in BVI
UK urged to brace for economic storm
Women's own body dissatisfaction appears to influence their judgment of other women's body sizes
Prince William To Move Family Into Cottage Near Queen Elizabeth II
BOOOOOOS: Tony Blair receives royal honour
Captured Britons sentenced to death in Ukraine
Barbados PM Mia A. Mottley among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Today's headlines
"Just One Of the Boys In School:" Years That Shaped Prince Charles
BVI Premier Rubbishes Claim Of Causing COI Delay
Comments on "Human Intelligence in a Digital Age" - A brilliant Speech by MI6 Chief Richard Moore, and the elephants neglected in the room
Bitcoin: BoE Deputy Gov wants to cancel democracy and protect the banks with regulations which infringe on people’s freedom, independence and benefits they get from their own money.
What are the Pandora Papers?
Taiwan-China relations at their 'worst in 40 years'
The attempt to hold accountable for the content of its clients' websites is like blaming Gutenberg for the NYT's fake news that dragged the US into the pointless war against the nuclear weapons Iraq never had