Royal wedding: Is the so-called Markle debacle such a terrible thing?


Updated

May 18, 2018 09:33:15

No matter what you think of the Royal family, its PR operation in Britain is normally pretty impressive.

In a country that is home to some of the most respected, independent media outlets in the world, press releases from Kensington or Buckingham Palace are often unquestioningly regurgitated as though they were stone tablets offered from above.

It’s a level of deference that comes as a surprise to many from Australia.

For the most part, everyone understands how the set-up works — the Royal family gets clicks, helps sells newspapers and gets eyeballs on TV bulletins.

Those reporting full time on the “Royal beat” are expected to respect certain boundaries in exchange for continued access and information, while those close to the family are expected to mostly keep their mouths shut.

Anyone who doesn’t comply risks being immediately frozen out.

When an unsanctioned article makes its way into the media, the palace often seems to take the view, ‘the less said the better’.

Not dignifying speculation with a response can see a story wither — but that approach has been put to the test recently.

With the eyes of the world on the House of Windsor, some members of Meghan Markle’s extended family have gone well and truly off the carefully prepared palace script.

In recent days, American entertainment website TMZ has seemingly had a pretty good idea about the health of Ms Markle’s father Thomas.

Possibly even a direct line to him that has led to a series of stories and feverish speculation.

Would he or would he not walk her down the aisle?

He won’t, the palace conceded, 24 hours after that had already become fairly clear.

In a week of what was meant to be carefully stage-managed celebration, the news cycle slipped out of the palace’s control.

And let’s not forget the contributions of the bride-to-be’s half-brother and half-sister. Their colourful thoughts have been aired extensively.

Some in the British tabloids, which of course regularly pay for and publish these sorts of controversial views, have labelled it the “Markle Debacle” and many experienced Royal watchers are asking: Why wasn’t someone sent to Mexico smooth things over with her father? Was he offered help but decided to refuse?

Some have even suggested it’s the worst build-up to a wedding in centuries.

Hmmm.

The Monarchy is an ancient institution that aims to project stability and tradition, yet the days of speculation have been, by its standards, unpredictable.

Instead of a full-blown Disney fairy tale, recent developments wouldn’t have been out of place in a badly made day-time TV drama.

But all the hiccups will probably be obliterated in the public’s memory by the impressive display of pomp and pageantry on the “big day” and in any case, some won’t see the drama as a particularly bad thing.

Most people have a few relatives they would rather not talk about and how many millions of weddings cause some form of family conflict?

For those tired of the usually well-stage-managed palace PR, the lead-up to the so-called “wedding of the year”, whatever that means, has become a tiny bit more interesting and possibly even made the couple a little more relatable.

Topics:

royal-and-imperial-matters,

human-interest,

england,

united-kingdom

First posted

May 18, 2018 09:32:08



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