Expert Comment: Queen’s response to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview a ‘masterclass’
If it seems like the heat has gone out of the royal feud since the Queen gave a 61-word response to Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah, it’s no accident, with a PR expert saying Her Majesty provided a masterclass in crisis management.
Meghan, who is biracial, told Oprah the palace had failed to help her when she had suicidal thoughts and that an unidentified member of the royal family had raised “concerns” about the colour of her baby’s skin when she was pregnant with son, Archie.
In response, the Queen said the allegations of racism were “concerning” and would be addressed privately by the royal family.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the statement said.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
InsideOut Public Relations director and media commentator Nicole Reaney — who has managed PR campaigns for Colgate-Palmolive, Coke and Nestle — told The West Live the Queen couldn’t have handled the situation much better.
“I’m all for recommending very carefully crafted, concise statements because the more words you put in, the more words that can be attacked in response,” Reaney revealed.
“Rather than go on the attack, (the Queen) they’ve been kind and demonstrated caring emotions, which is in stark contrast to how they were positioned within the (Oprah) interview.”
Reaney said Buckingham Palace played it perfectly by acknowledging the allegations, and confirming it would be taken seriously, while making it clear there may be differing accounts of the facts.
The PR maven also said the response was a clever way to keep the Queen’s expensively-gloved hands clean, while allowing for palace officials to background media behind the scenes.
Reaney expected actual evidence regarding the allegations to be drip-fed to the media, by both sides, in the coming days.
This prediction played out today when the Duchess of Sussex’s long-time friend, Janina Gavankar, revealed there are “many emails and texts” to support the claims she made to Oprah Winfrey about her experience of joining the British Royal Family.
“It’ll be a bit of a frenzy from both sides,” Reaney warned.
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Nicole Reaney, Director of InsideOut PR and founder of influencer agency, #AsSeenOn . Nicole has extensive experience in corporate and consumer PR and Communications and is available to comment on topics.