the silence is defeaning
There’s no denying that we all indulge in a little ‘rebranding’ from time to time. An update to the CV putting a slightly more positive slant on the last three sackings. The increased use of soft filters on the next ever-so Instagram head-shot. Losing five years and gaining three inches on the match.com profile. All are tweaks to a dubious reality but pity the poor PR consultant recently tasked with rebranding HRH Prince Andrew, now there’s a real mission impossible!
Following his disastrous Newsnight interview, where only 6% of viewers said they believed his denials, the Prince himself might’ve thought things couldn’t get much worse. Well, they did. Last month his long-time accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse on three separate occasions and one of battery. How long before Pizza Express follow suit for irreparable reputational damage? And the response to date? Deafening silence from behind the walls Balmoral Castle.
The problem that the PR chappie faces is that as well as his personal unlikability and general idiocy, there’s the fact that Andrew has no accomplishments to speak of, little public admiration and respect to leverage and no day-job he can go back to. When quizzed about letting his sycophants sit on the Queen’s throne, inviting abusive pals Jeffery Epstein and Harvey Weinstein to his daughter’s 18th, and selling his palatial home to a Kazakh oligarch for £3m over-asking (even though it’d been on-the-market for donkeys), his response was merely “you don’t get it right all the time. It doesn’t bother me, really.” Getting it right even once would be a start.
Good royal rebranding and rehabilitation apparently begins with a full, authentic and credible apology, followed by the total devotion to goodly charitable works and public service for the rest of their natural. Well, we’re on a sticky-wicket with the former and wasn’t the latter what he was meant to be doing in the first place? Isn’t that kinda what goes when you sign-up for a gilded life on the public’s civil list ticket? Personally, and I’m with Eddie Murphy on this when he once wryly observed “the best way to hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people”. Now that’d be a start. Oh, and standing trial to rebut your accusers.
And just when the Queen’s favourite son thinks it couldn’t get any worse, who has jumped to his defence this week? The whiter-than-white ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, describing them as “the happiest divorced couple in the world. We support each other like pillars of strength with the honour and integrity of truth.” A permanent guest at his country estate, Fergie explains the secret to their long-lasting relationship “I don’t cook, shan’t cook, won’t cook. And we don’t breakfast together as we have two dining rooms. Have you seen Royal Lodge? It’s quite big you know.” And on that note.