Harry & Meghan carrying out 'hit job' on the monarchy says McCain
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King Charles and the rest of the Royal Family have been advised to resist the temptation to respond to any damaging claims which may levelled against them by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in tomorrow’s Netflix shows. The final three instalments of the couple’s six-part series land on the streaming service tomorrow at 8am GMT – and Buckingham Palace is bracing itself for a glut of fresh allegations.
However, Edward Coram James, a crisis management expert and the CEO of London-based PR agency Go Up, said it would be a mistake for the Royal Family to divert from its traditional approach – namely, maintaining dignified silence.
Trailers have offered glimpses of what Harry and Meghan will say, with the Duke of Sussex talking of “institutional gaslighting”, while his wife complained of being “fed to the wolves”.
However, so far there is no indication they will return to the subject of the racism allegations which surfaced in their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2020.
Mr Coram James explained the Royal Family has, almost uniquely, “managed to equate silence with stoic, above-the-fray, leave-this-to-the-kids denial”.
He said: “In many ways, this means that the real challenge is not with the royals, but with the Sussexes.
“How do they penetrate through that thick, lasting armour? The royal strategy is designed to make any on the other side of the fray appear as rabble-rousing and immature.
“It also allows the other side the time and space to make mistakes and fall to their own arrows.
“By doing nothing and saying nothing, they have provided the perfect contrast to a side that, relative to that, appears to be doing everything and saying everything, and allowed the other side to slip up with cultural faux pas such as Meghan’s arguably culturally insensitive fake curtsey. “
In the wake of the Oprah interview, Prince William, Harry’s brother had responded directly with his spontaneous remark that it was “very much not a racist family”, Mr Coram James pointed out.
He added: “This was a moment of guard-down fluster, and would not have been planned. It was indeed a misstep, and left the Prince momentarily vulnerable, joining the fray. He will not make that mistake again.”
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The main challenge which the Sussexes have presented the Royal Family, to date, was that of guessing what they might say or do next, Mr Coram Jones said – while suggesting professional strategists will have been working overtime to coordinate a response.
He continued: “Which skeletons might the Sussexes next air in Public? Alternatively, there is the possibility that the Sussexes may just make things up. What might these be?
“These questions will have been considered in methodical and painstaking detail by the Royal PR and crisis management teams since the Oprah interview.
A game plan will have been drawn up in advance for every potential allegation or revelation.
“This game plan will have been signed off at the highest levels so that it could spring into action immediately if required.”
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The other challenge lay in “retaining that silence”, Mr Coram Jones stressed.
He said: “When someone is flinging an awful lot of mud in your direction, it can be very tempting to throw a few piles back.
“The Sussexes will be hoping for a response from the royals, as this would escalate the drama to new levels.
“Were I the Royal Family’s crisis comms consultant, I would be advising them to not take the bait.”
“I would be very surprised if the Royal Family was to respond at all to the Harry and Meghan docuseries.
“Thus far, the documentary’s bark has been much louder than its bite.”
Express.co.uk has approached the Sussexes for comment via Archewell.
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