What if the crisis unleashed in the British monarchy by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had been a communication problem? It's a trick question, obviously. Because at this point there are hardly any people who have not taken sides in the conflict caused by an interview that left nothing to improvisation. The Stone-Vines Conversation with host Oprah Winfrey was the most rehearsed and measured communication exercise in recent times. The trail of unknowns, inconsistencies or unsupported accusations left by the Dukes of Sussex, however, has aroused the voracity of the British tabloids, who are not willing to let go of the prey. Meghan and Enrique have given up on feeding that channel of hatred and mutual benefit that connects the royal family with the yellow press for decades . The "invisible contract" referred to by the Duke of Sussex. "If you are willing to share a wine or a dinner, and offer full access to all these reporters, you will get much better press," Enrique denounced.
It is not a secret lodge or an unspeakable pact, but a very reality. simpler, and at the same time more complex to handle. Journalists covering the affairs of the British royal house use a form of rotation imitated by other European monarchies. In each official act, access is allowed to a reporter, a photographer and a cameraman who will then share their material – images, information and jokes – with the rest of the media affiliated to the system. The problem comes later, because the speeches or the photographs are fixed, but the interpretations of the gestures and the context, malleable. And to counter that threat, allies are necessary. Either in the form of friends who, from anonymity, present the version of the parties, or under the authority of alleged "royal experts" whom the tabloids never tire of using. Or through complicit journalists who are given wide access to privacy in exchange for a favorable version.
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Television Interviews The latest attempt at testing this variety resulted in the book Finding Freedom , by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand ,“ an attempt to create an intimate and rigorous portrait of a truly modern royal couple who, even if their decisions have been criticized or praised, have always known how to remain faithful to their beliefs ”, according to the authors. That kind of authorized manifesto emerged in the midst of the pandemic, and it failed to calm the spirits of those who continued to present the couple as a pair of spoiled teenagers who had run away from their obligations , or to gain the attention of those media that would have been more prone to understanding and supporting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a then banal battle dwarfed by the country's tragedy
There are few occasions in which a member of the British royal family stands before the cameras to tell "its truth ." And most have been explosive. None have served to settle the debate, because it is in its very nature that it never ends. The show must go on. So the Sussexes have returned to the traditional technique to continue sending errands and answering the reproaches. It was the American journalist, Gayle King, a friend of the couple, who was in charge of revealing that Enrique has finally spoken with his brother Guillermo and his father Carlos from England: “According to what I have been told, the conversations were not very productive. But they are happy that the dialogue has resumed ”, related King. It has also been she who has justified that the interview was broadcast just when Prince Philip of Edinburgh, 99, lay convalescing in hospital after undergoing a delicate heart operation. "It was programmed and recorded before they hospitalized him," he justified, "If something, God forbid, had happened to him, the programming would have been suspended."
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have not renounced the game of intertwined messages, through intermediaries, that the British royal family has practiced for decades. They have only decided to stay in friendly territory thousands of miles away from London. Another victim of tabloid viciousness, Camilla Parker Bowles , chose the opposite path. Defined at the time as the "most hated woman in the United Kingdom", at the height of her affair with the Prince of Wales and the break with Lady Di, the Duchess of Cornwall used the patience, sense of humor and intuition of that nothing is more fickle than public opinion to turn the situation around. He learned the name of each of the journalists who covered his actions, he filled them with complicit gestures, he understood what was the right moment to smile at the camera or make a precise comment. Unlike Meghan, the future queen consort – and the acceptance among the British of that fact is increasing – understood that nothing tames the media more than cultivating their vanity and paying a little attention to them .