Crisis comms, or The Many Woes of Windsor

It would have taken the most committed Republican to have successfully avoided hearing any mention of the furore that has engulfed the house of Windsor this week. Accusations of racism, bullying and callous behaviour bounced between California and London fuelling chat show tantrums and social media meltdowns. 

But how do you handle it when your internal crisis suddenly becomes…external? Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ interview did shine an extremely bright spotlight on the inner and private workings of the Royal household.  Palace officials are in a very difficult position now; confidentiality binds them to withholding detail about the situation but human nature means that that detail is still being leaked.

Our advice? Wait for the wave to break. Wait for the story to be mashed up and regurgitated by news outlets all over the world in the next 24 hours until saturation point is reached. Once no further comment has been made and the story has lost momentum, then deploy your best asset. 

In this case, that’s the Queen herself. She was praised by both the Duke and Duchess for her kindness and integrity and her behaviour is nothing if not dignified, even if it can be seen as a little remote for the tabloids’ liking. 

An immediate and emotional response in these situations looks too tit for tat and gives a story more oxygen, whereas dignity and calm are always a good look. In crisis comms, there’s something to be said for the stiff upper lip.