Last year, during the Television Event of the Year, Prince Harry told Oprah Winfrey about the “invisible” contract which is the British royal family’s agreement with the UK tabloid media – a you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours relationship that’s basically an open secret except that no member of the family would ever admit to it… until, of course, the Firm made it so that Harry and Meghan have no more f-cks to give.
Celebrities often maintain close connections with members of the media, this is not news. But the thing about the British royals is that they don’t consider themselves celebrities. They look down on celebrities. They think of themselves in a different class altogether, a much more elevated one. As IF they’d deign to get into bed with a tabloid, with the press. As if they would have to. Oh but they do.
But it’s not like those relationships are with the British equivalent of the New York Times or the New Yorker. No, we’re talking about The Sun and the Daily Mail, bottom-feeding publications that foment the worst in our culture, and the same publications that have been exposed for racist, sexist, and transphobic coverage – not past, but CURRENT. They’ve also been sued by the Sussexes and lost.
And now an editor for one of those publications has been recruited by Prince Charles and Camilla to run communications for Clarence House! Tobyn Andreae is the former deputy editor of the Daily Mail and is now the Prince of Wales’s communications secretary. The Invisible Contract has just become very visible.
Are you seriously telling me that the best communications candidate available to the FUTURE KING OF ENGLAND is someone who just came from the Daily f-cking Mail?!
Hiring someone who is still freshly wafting Daily Mail stink is a tacit endorsement of the work that they did while they were there. Like calling Meghan Markle “Straight Outta Compton”. And not taking climate change seriously which, FFS, is one of Charles’s priorities!!!!
Still, this is the direction in communications that Charles, Camilla, and Clarence House seem to be pursuing. And on that note, here’s Omid Scobie’s latest column on royal comms strategy:
"Never complain, never explain" may slowly be becoming a thing of the past at the past, but a different order has quickly risen within the institution of the monarchy: deflect and distract.— Omid Scobie (@scobie) July 5, 2022
My latest @YahooNewsUK column:https://t.co/V5Z0ALG78E
Note this paragraph in particular – background information on a royal briefing that happened last week following all those headlines about Charles accepting shopping bags and briefcases full of cash while there’s already a cash for honours controversy swirling around his charities:
“… when the Prince of Wales was forced to announce via his spokesman that he will never again accept plastic bags filled with €500 notes for his charities, one of his senior aides also briefed journalists with adorable details of the heir’s first time meeting granddaughter Lilibet last month. (Yes, one of the same private family moments royal sources had “feared” the Sussexes would leak. The irony).
As Omid Scobie points out, all the coverage about Charles’s latest cash for honours f-ckup was buried by reports about him meeting Lilibet. So in the same briefing about the bags full of cash, Charles’s comms secretary dropped in a little nugget about Charles spending time with his youngest granddaughter. The implication here is that he used Harry and Meghan’s baby to deflect from his own alleged scandal. So the child is a convenient asset when he needs to change the story but he can’t defend the child’s parents when they’re being attacked by the media? OK.
There’s more – Omid Scobie again:
“It was a similar scenario when the Royal Household revealed last week that, while Britain continues to struggle with a devastating cost-of-living crisis, the Royal Family has spent more money than ever. The latest Sovereign Grant Report showed that in 2021-2022 the royals cost taxpayers £102.4 million ($122.9 million)—17% more than the previous year — and their travel costs had rocketed from £1.3m ($1.5m) to £4.5m ($5.4m).
Outrage over spending, including the £100,000 ($120,000) spent on just three royal train trips, made its way across more serious media outlets, but the news failed to make the front pages of the country’s most-read tabloids. Instead, their headlines focused on something else - a suspiciously timed update on the investigation into bullying claims against the Duchess of Sussex.”
Coincidence or conspiracy?
Tobyn Andreae hasn’t even officially joined Clarence House yet. Imagine how much dirtier it will get?