Palace statement exposed a “fragility, vulnerability and awkwardness within the Royal establishment over issues of diversity, inclusion, and mental health.”
The results of a poll conducted by reputation and brand management agency, Clearly PR on Tuesday and Wednesday have found that almost half of people (47.9 per cent) feel that Buckingham Palace’s response to Monday’s television interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was handled poorly.
Of the 789 respondents who took part in the poll, just one in three (33.2 per cent) people believe the Royal household’s press statement was sufficient in that it marked a refusal to be drawn into a public tit-for-tat. 18.9 per cent of respondents were undecided.
Responding to the findings, Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, Founder & Managing Director of Clearly PR, said: “Buckingham Palace faced growing pressure to break the silence and issue a statement in response to the claims made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah Winfrey. And they were right to do so.
“However, while brief at just 61 words, the statement was not without its own controversy and exposed a fragility, vulnerability and awkwardness within the Royal establishment over issues of diversity, inclusion, and mental health.
“In their statement, the Palace made reference to the claims made by Meghan and Harry during the interview by saying that ‘some recollections may vary’. From a communications perspective, it went too far yet not far enough.
“By almost dismissing the seriousness of the accusations being levied at the Royal family and the experiences shared by the Sussexes, the statement ran the risk of undoing what was until that point a well-composed response.
“It had revealed a sensitivity from within Buckingham Palace which the public has wanted to see more of since the tragic death of Princess Diana some 23 years ago, but the inclusion of those few words altered both the tone and sentiment being communicated.
“I believe it was well-intentioned and indicated a promise by the Royal family to address the issues privately and away from the public glare.
“However, the clumsy defensive posture they assumed coupled with their failure to embrace the opportunity to open up the debate over racism and mental health much wider suggests that the Royal family remains as non-progressive and disconnected from its subjects as it has ever been.”