Should the Royal Family Stop Talking to the Press Now?
For a number of years the royal family remained pretty quiet on matters involving their personal lives, that is until a few princes and princesses agreed to unprecedented TV interviews. While many remember Princess Diana’s tell-all interview, she wasn’t the first royal to talk to the press and publicly answer questions about Britain’s most famous family.
One year before Diana’s Panorama interview, Prince Charles admitted during a televised conversation with journalist Jonathan Dimbleby to cheating on the princess while they were married. Their decisions to speak to the media angered several members of the royal family and was the last straw before Queen Elizabeth II urged the Prince and Princess of Wales to get a divorce.
Now, more than two decades after those bombshell interviews some other royals have spoken candidly to the media, but is it time for them to stop talking?
Prince and Meghan Markle’s emotional documentary
In October, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s documentary titled Harry & Meghan: An African Journey aired, and their revelations still have people talking.
There were reports that the queen wasn’t happy with their comments about dealing with the stress of royal life and the media attention since it overshadowed the good work they did while on the tour. It also took the spotlight away from Prince William and Kate Middleton during their complex Pakistan tour as well as a documentary about Prince Charles’ work overseas.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams explained that their choice to discuss handling media scrutiny and for Harry to address a rift with his brother means that “Palace advisers are either not giving responsible advice or [aren’t] being listened to at all.”
Prince Andrew’s disastrous interview
Although the palace was said to be blindsided by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s documentary, that was not the case with Prince Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview. According to Emily Maitlis, who sat down with Andrew for the interview, not only did the prince receive permission from his mother to do the interview but that the queen allowed it to be conducted inside Buckingham Palace.
“I am trying to understand the significance of the queen giving us her own formal quarters in which to film, but it feels like a code I do not properly understand,” Maitlis said.
Whatever the reason, many agree that it wasn’t a good idea and never should have happened. The duke has been widely criticized for what’s been described as a “disastrous” interview and now several sponsors and supporters of his charities could end their relationship with him.
Most royal experts believe that Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Prince Andrew didn’t do themselves any favors and did not accomplish what they were hoping to. Just about everyone agrees that the princes and duchess need to stop talking and other royals should distance themselves from them for a while.
“I think you have to separate the three people away from the rest of the royal family,” said former press secretary Dickie Arbiter. “They’ve got to deal with the situation, the rest of the royal family will carry on business as usual.”