Prince William wants to respond to the backlash from a series of public relations blunders in the region last month. He will be ‘looking beyond the confines of Whitehall’ for new talent
Prince William has held crisis meetings on how to modernize the monarchy after stinging criticism of his Caribbean tour.
The Duke of Cambridge told aides he is more determined than ever to update the institution as he attempts to respond to the backlash from a series of public relations blunders in the region last month.
William’s struggle to “move on” from the negative coverage has included “abrupt” discussions with staff responsible for the “haphazard planning” of his tour with wife Kate, royal sources have revealed.
The Duke has set upon a root-and-branch assessment of his entire team and will demand complete alignment with his vision for the future.
The Mirror can exclusively reveal how William and Kate have personally interviewed two “star” candidates put forward by advisers to head up a new-look communications team tasked with cementing their image.
But the Cambridges rejected both potentials as “not being anywhere close to up to it”, it is understood.
An insider said the rejected PR candidates, a man and a woman, had been white civil servants in their 30s.
Sources have revealed how William and Kate have told advisers to start looking “beyond the confines of Whitehall” for new talent.
The insider added: “It is pretty clear that the Cambridges need a drastic rethink. They are asking themselves whether there is enough diversity in their team – and they already know the answers.”
Another source said: “You can’t think outside the box if everyone is sitting comfortably in the same one.”
Insiders have told how the future king and queen have vowed to rip up the royal rule book in the pursuit of establishing a new “Cambridge Way,” cultivating their image and working on key lifelong projects.
It can also be revealed that immediately after eight days touring Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas in honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Duke and Duchess summoned their entire senior staff to a “clear-the-air meeting”.
Sources revealed the atmosphere in the emergency team summit quickly soured after William revealed his concerns over a perceived lack of input from his staff.
I believed they had been poorly prepared for the reaction they encountered in the Caribbean.
A source said: “The Duke was clearly frustrated at the lack of answers and the absence of any workable solutions being put forward.
“The feeling was there were so many pitfalls that could have been avoided. He knows full well that it is his reputation on the line.
“In dealing with sensitive issues, such as the ones they met on the tour, if they aren’t in tune with what is going on in the world they will be left fighting for their futures.”
The couple were left reeling by negative headlines across the world.
Media reported protests from Caribbean nations demanding reparations and apologies from the monarchy over slavery, as well as talk of island nations ditching the royals in favor of becoming republics.
William and Kate were also slammed for choosing to ride in an open-topped Land Rover in Jamaica, the same vehicle that was used by the Queen in the 1960s. Critics suggested the optics created a clumsy homage to a bygone era, leaving a stench of colonialism in the air.
Following the disastrous decision to use the Land Rover, sources have revealed how William, 39, made “repeated attempts” to question the wisdom of the optics of the event.
But he was told that his Jamaican hosts had specifically requested it. Photos of the pair greeting children through a fence were also thought to have left a bad impression. William was forced to deliver an unprecedented statement at the end of the tour in which he said: “This tour has brought into even sharper focus questions about the past and future.”
Another palace insider said: “William was totally deflated after the tour, but now is the time for change.
“If William wants to be seen as a moderniser, he needs to get his own house in order.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.