How to manage a very Royal crisis
There’s little disagreement. Prince Andrew has damaged his reputation through his own poor actions and appalling attitude.
Much has been written about his interview on the BBC’s Newsnight – the tone, the body language, the bizarre alibis, even the setting. But it’s worth considering a couple of questions: what is next for the Duke of York? And how does he recover from this scandal?
If he was a business – and essentially, the Royal Family is a business – the Queen’s third child is the rogue director and should have been dismissed some time ago. He was already suffering from a poor reputation and credibility; he hadn’t moved with the times or developed his own brand, resulting in a lack of any good will on which to fall back on.
The importance of being authentic in your communication and actions is highlighted in Prince Andrew’s role as a business ambassador for the UK. To be taken seriously and valued by business, you actually need business experience.
Sadly, a spell in the armed forces or associations with business friends like convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein doesn’t give you grassroots knowledge of running a commercial operation.
Eyebrows have always been raised at the prince’s ambassadorial “job” but now that he lacks any integrity, he needs to be moved well away from any promotion of the UK and its businesses.
So, what does the Duke of York do next? Apologise? Undertake another interview? Tell the BBC that it was all taken out of context?
No, he needs to keep his head down and start to rebuild his shattered reputation. He has to take the criticism on the chin and seek professional advice, something you feel he didn’t do regarding the Newsnight grilling.
If they’ll have him, he needs to align himself with causes appropriate to his knowledge and skillset, e.g. the problem of homelessness among former armed forces personnel.
It’s time for Andrew to put space between this interview and his next public intervention – and quietly reinvent himself.
It’s time for Andrew to become human and relatable.
Lis Lewis-Jones, CEO