Saturday, 14 Dec 2019

Prince Andrew’s royal troubles dubbed ‘self-inflicted on every level’

Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties last month, in the aftermath of his widely-criticised BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis. In it, the Duke of York spoke of his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and with Epstein’s former girlfriend and alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell. Although some commentators in the weeks since have pointed at the misjudgement of the Prince Andrew’s PR team in pressing for the interview, and even questioned if Princess Beatrice signed off on the idea, one expert has argued that the prince’s public troubles is “self-inflicted”.

Podcast Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper, and features the Daily Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers.

In the latest episode, Ms Gripper explained how a PR expert has posted to LinkedIn, describing all the “golden rules” that the Duke of York broke in his ill-advised interview.

She said: “A former colleague of ours, John Clements, who used to be the Crime Editor for the Daily Mirror, now works in communication and crisis management.”

Mr Clements said: “Self-inflicted on every level. 

“How many golden rules of strategic communications has Prince Andrew broken to get to this point?

“Number one, don’t do stupid stuff, like associate with a convicted sex offender – because then there’s a lot less to explain afterwards.

“Two: Don’t treat your communications team like publishing function, let them inform your decision making. 

“Three: Don’t give interviews to get stuff off your chest. Give them as part of a considered strategy. 

“Four: Don’t get lost in the weeds, especially in broadcast. Have a consistent message that you repeat and repeat.”

It emerged last month after the BBC interview that the Duke of York’s PR secretary, Jason Stein, quit after only a month in the job over the decision to go ahead with the TV sit-down.

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A source close to Mr Stein told The Sun at the time: “He hadn’t really got his feet under the table when he decided to leave and move on and he didn’t even get paid, he wasn’t there long enough.

“He had one meeting with the Prince and his team and he strongly advised them against giving the Newsnight interview.

“He knows what Emily Matlis is like as his background was in Westminster and he knows she is a fearsome interviewer. He really, really strongly advised Andrew against giving the interview.”

Tonight, Virginia Roberts Giuffre is set to speak to BBC Panorama. 

Ms Giuffre alleges that she was trafficked by the financier and was forced to have sex with the prince.

Andrew categorically denies the claims. 

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