Royal Family’s ‘game plan’ laid bare ready for Sussex documentary

Harry & Meghan: Explosive trailer for Netflix documentary

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The Firm will have hired a team of crisis experts ahead of the documentary release, with choreographed responses for every possible embarrassing or damaging revelation that could be made, a PR expert told 

The revelations will likely be ranked from one-10 in severity and the family will respond accordingly, in some cases using their extended network to leak stories or provide comments on allegations.

Meanwhile, working members of the Royal Family are likely to stay silent with some “odd, short and carefully chosen statements” from the Palace, PR expert Edward Coram James said.

Mr James, a reputation management, crisis management and digital marketing expert, said if the family didn’t already work with a crisis management team, they will have had one ready ever since the Sussexes’ infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey, when they made a number of shock allegations about the Firm.

He said the release of the couple’s new series will have been the primary focus of their crisis management teams for several months since the docuseries was announced.

The PR expert also said the Royal Family will have a “detailed, data-driven” game plan in place ready for any possible scenario or revelation the couple could make.

“The first thing to know is that, no matter what revelations will follow, the Royal Family will not be caught off guard”, Mr James said.

The crisis management team hired by the Firm will have been given a “dirty laundry list” of all the “skeletons” in the Royal Family’s closet.

He explained: “Essentially, every embarrassing secret that could be revealed, will have been aired to them in a ‘we cannot confirm or deny that these events are true, but Meghan and Harry could say this’ setting and under strict non-disclosure agreements. So that they can create a plan in case of their revelation”.

The crisis management team will also have closely reviewed all of Harry and Meghan’s statements and leaks over the past few years, spotting any key themes.

“The Royal PRs will take all of this into account and create a hit list of the top 100 potential allegations, either true, exaggerated or false, and work out a detailed, specific and choreographed response to each”, he said.

Mr James, who is the CEO of Go Up, said the response will differ depending on the severity of the revelations, which will likely be ranked with a simple one to 10 score.

“Ten is potentially ‘game over’ revelations that, if not handled with delicacy and precision, could spell ruin for the institution of the Royal Family”, he said.

But any comment between one to four would be dealt with with ‘no comment’ and no further action.

A revelation between five-seven would be dealt with by a short ‘we deny this but are rising above it’ style comment which, he said, was what happened after the couple’s accusations during the Oprah Winfrey interview.

The comment would also be accompanied by “leaks to the press” made by members of the extended royal network, while also taking jabs at Harry and Meghan, he said.

Meanwhile, the most serious allegations ranked from eight-10, whether true or untrue, would require a rare and categorical response from the Palace.

He said the Palace would either confirm their truth, and outline the swift and firm actions that they have taken as a result of them or a firm denial, but with actions taken to mitigate any potential misgivings regardless”.

This was the Royal Family’s preferred choice in their handling of the Prince Andrew scandal, he said.

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