Blog 2 minute read
Imagine going on a short skiing holiday with your mates to find your dancing - good or bad or 'Dad' style - was filmed and shared around the internet. That happened to Prince William this week after a short break to Verbier.
Was he doing anything wrong? No. Is he allowed to let his metaphorical hair down? Absolutely.
The problem is perception and a growing narrative developing in the media that Prince William isn't as hard working as he might be.
This is why the contrast was drawn between the members of the royal family who attended the annual Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey and Prince William.
British tabloids gleefully reported the boys' night out while drawing attention to the 'fact' "The Queen considers the date one of the most important in the royal calendar and William’s decision not to attend was seen as significant and controversial."
That William is a helicopter pilot as well as fulfilling his Royal duties - including deputising for HM The Queen - and raising a young family is ignored by many. I've noticed people commenting beyond the media too which means that this really does matter.
This then is the reality His Royal Highness faces. He and his communications team need to recognise this quickly before the narrative gets a life of its own.
It was the same with his uncle - Prince Andrew - once a brace naval aviator adored by the media who, when second in line to the throne, served in the Falklands conflict. Since leaving the navy Andrew has struggled to find a role allowing his reputation to be defined by gaffes and unfortunate acquaintances rather than his work as a trade envoy or his charitable work.
With William, his tetchy history with the media does not help with how he is portrayed. Is this fair? Probably not, but again it's the reality he and his team faces.
Perhaps it's just a matter of timing - a lot of good communications and reputation management is. In this case there is no doubt the timing was terrible which makes Prince William my Mis-Communicator of the Week.
Mis-Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.