Ditch the Land Rover shots: PR tips to Prince Edward and Sophie ahead of Caribbean tour | the monarchy
ISeems like simple advice for the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s Caribbean tour: Avoid taking references from the Netflix drama The Crown, ditch anything that smacks of 1950s colonialism and instead try to create a playbook for the monarchy. modern to avoid the public relations pitfalls that plagued the Duke and The Duchess of Cambridge’s controversial recent visit to the region.
But with Grenada removed from the itinerary without explanation the day before the tour begins on Friday, and an open letter about slave trade reparations awaiting them in Antigua and Barbuda, the spotlight is already on the tour. of Edward and Sophie’s Platinum Jubilee in Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Buckingham Palace will be desperate to avoid the public relations missteps suffered by William and Kate, with its ill-fated footage of the couple greeting children in Jamaica through metal fences.
If there were ever plans for the Wessex to recreate the Queen and Prince Philip waving from an open-top Land Rover, as William and Kate did in footage criticized as a relic of a colonial era passed, they should have been shelved immediately, said PR expert Mark Borkowski.
The couple’s Land Rover snaps ‘seemed straight out of the 1950s. Like somehow they took references from The Crown rather than the modern manual on how to look contemporary and turned to the future and not to be anachronistic,” he added.
“If they [the royal family] start repeating these mistakes, there is clearly something heartbroken in what has been a very controlling royal media machine.
But, despite the scrutiny of the Wessex itinerary by royal aides, the potential for a backlash exists in a region where some island nations have made clear their intention to sever ties with the crown.
During their tour of Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, the Cambridges faced protests against slavery, calls for reparations and public apologies, and the uncomfortable on-camera warning of the Jamaican Prime Minister that the country would abandon the monarchy.
The Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission today warned Wessexes in an open letter of the ‘false moralism’ of ‘members of the British Royal Family and government officials’ coming in the region to “lament that slavery was an ‘appalling atrocity’, that it was ‘heinous’, that it should not have happened”.
“For us, they are the source of genocide and deep and persistent international hurt, injustice and racism. We hope you will respect us by not repeating the mantra. We are not simpletons, ”we read.
Apologies for slavery and reparations are still needed, said commission chairwoman Dorbrene O’Marde, who described William and Kate’s tour as a “horrific and gruesome display of archaic colonial behavior”.
He told local radio the letter followed concerns raised by others, including the lack of “an apology from the Crown both as a family and as an institution for their role in the ‘subjugation of Africans’.
O’Marde also claimed the last-minute cancellation of the Granada leg of the Wessex tour was due to recent revelations that the Bank of England owned 599 Granada slaves at the end of the 18th century. Buckingham Palace did not specify the reasons for the postponement.
The Wessexes are “hostages of misfortune”, Borkowski said, and are locked into traditional protocol. “They are forced to do these things that still have a memory of a time when the royal family was loved, in the 1950s.”
“But that’s 60 years later. A lot of water passed under the bridge.
The recent royal focus on the Caribbean could be something of a framing exercise for a royal family testing where it might be when Charles, and then William, takes the throne, he said.
In December, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister Charles “Max” Fernandez and an editorial in the Antigua Observer said it was time to follow Barbados and become a republic. In Saint Lucia, former Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony said his government should follow suit. An editorial in the Vincentian Journal of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines said Barbados had shown it could be “easily accomplished”.
It is in this context that the Wessex arrive. Helpers should check and double-check photographers’ positions, Borkowski said, in light of photos from the Cambridges’ fence.
“They are generally very cautious. For years, the royal spin has been about preventing the unexpected shot from filtering into the mainstream. So it’s a surprise that they were caught off guard.
His advice: “[The Wessexes] should avoid clichés, think carefully about each photo shoot and not go off-piste. Don’t improvise. Stick to the plan and make sure the plan was thought out with great military precision.