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BBC: ‘Public relations missteps overshadowed royal tour’

Posted: Sunday, March 27, 2022. 10:12 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The BBC’s royal correspondent Jonny Dymond has blamed ‘public relations missteps’ by Kensington Palace for the critical coverage dogging every moment of the recently concluded Platinum Jubilee Tour by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

“It’s been more than two years since the last tour and the Cambridges’ team sorely lacks experience in setting up a long and complex trip. It only takes one thing, one moment, to overshadow days of good works. There have been a fair few of those things,” Dymond writes.

While the couple received a warm reception almost everywhere they went, Dymond acknowledges that times have changed and this time, the royals failed to change with them.

He cited the Indian Creek protest, the couple greeting Jamaican children through a wire fence in Trench Town, Kingston; and the Land Rover ride out of the military commissioning parade intended as a charming homage to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who rode in the same vehicle back in the 1960s.

To their credit, says Dymond, the Duke “went further than any member of the Royal Family, speaking of his sorrow at and abhorrence of slavery. And he went out of his way to celebrate the contribution that Jamaicans have made to Britain in the years since World War Two.” And he says they made every effort to reach out to those unsung in the development of their countries in all walks of life.

But it didn’t stop Prime Minister Andrew Holness from publicly declaring Jamaica’s intention to become a republic; nor did it stop dissident voices in Belize and the Bahamas from demanding reparations for slavery and publicly questioning the role of the monarchy.

Here, volleyball player and trained anthropologist Bryton Codd noted the incongruence of a celebration of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne at the monument of a people far older than the English.

To complaints from a senior British diplomat of the critical coverage that “It’s really unfair,” Dymond rejoined smartly: “But since when was life – or social media – fair?”

Dymond concludes that The Firm may not get a second chance with the world’s rapid changes owing to Black Lives Matter, the Barbados declaration, and less forgiveness on offer.


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