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Public Relations Pros Are Spilling Alllll Their Thoughts On The Kate Middleton Situation, And I'm Somehow More Intrigued Than Ever

"I did a lot of PR work in London, and from what I understand of the British press, this is not a fumble."

At this point, everyone and their mother knows about the mystery surrounding Kate Middleton's whereabouts. Why did William suddenly cancel his appearance at his godfather's memorial service? What was up with the whole Photoshop scandal? And don't get me started on the discourse about the TMZ farm shop footage.

But no matter which way you spin it, you can't deny that this whole thing has been a PR disaster. So, when Reddit user u/butteredgrapes asked members of the subreddit r/PublicRelations, "What are your thoughts on the Kate Middleton situation as a PR professional?" I couldn't help but read through all the commenters' opinions. Here are some of the most interesting:

1. "I would have never issued that short statement signed by 'C' (Princess Catherine) owning up to editing the photo. Bad move. [It] would have been better to let it fade to the next news cycle."

"What was already weird was made weirder, and provoked more criticism. They are also adding gasoline to the fire by not being transparent about her stomach condition or King Charles's cancer. Transparency is key to avoid speculation."


2. "Their strategy here is baffling; they're acting like people are asking her to post a video of her colonoscopy or something, when a vast majority of people want to know if she's okay."

Assorted British newspapers featuring headlines about the royals and celebrities

3. "On the PR side, [I think it's] totally idiotic that [the palace] released such a botched photo. This tells me they either have people around them who are just seeking to please them and say yes to everything, or Kate and Will are handling more of the day-to-day on their own than we think."

Will and Kate standing outdoors with a man

4. "Just goes to show you should not capitulate to Twitter mobs. They should have never posted a photo in the first place. If they were going to post a photo, it shouldn't have been doctored. If they were going to post a doctored photo, they shouldn't have admitted it was doctored. Stop trying to appease the mob."


5. "The statement admitting to the doctoring of the photo was absurd. Why say that? It’s like they're liking this cat and mouse game with the public."


6. "CNN is now reporting that they are reviewing all past photos submitted by the palace for fraud. This is so much worse now. [The] truthfulness [of the palace] is now being called into question."

Kate Middleton in a blue dress with short sleeves and a ribbon detail, looking to the side

7. "I roll my eyes every time I see someone blaming the 'PR team.' Internal politics [are] generally [what] dictate an organization's crisis communications decisions, and competing interests within that organization are generally invisible to the public. We can talk about the best way to handle this from an external perspective, but we have no idea what the true goals of the most powerful people within the institution (i.e. the King) are."


8. "I did a lot of PR work in London, and from what I understand of the British press, this is not a fumble. They always purposely create big discussion points and controversies to keep the general public distracted from something else, often at the expense of one of the women in their ranks, [like] Meghan [and] Kate."


9. "If I were her publicist, I would have had her make a 15-second video a few weeks after her surgery, in her garden, that said don’t worry everyone, I’m fine and just need to rest and recover. I’ll see you soon. Boom. Done. These vague statements, weird sightings, and long periods of silence are making it soooo much worse. Be first, be right, be credible. They have done none of those things."


10. And finally: "While I understand that the palace wanted to control the narrative, and gambled that the current action of saying nothing might have been (marginally) workable, things were changed by a raft of bad news from other family members: The King’s cancer, Sarah Ferguson’s cancer, and most tragically, the death of Thomas Kingston. This has led to a lot of speculation in general that has grown to the point where it was used as fodder with US chat show host Stephen Colbert. Hence, I think clear and plain communications from the start would have been (and still would be) best. Instead, what exists now is a furor amongst the press and the public who have been excluded."

Prince William and Kate Middleton in a carriage, Kate in a large hat and matching outfit, Prince William in a suit and tie

Overall, it seems that with the Royal Family right now, about five stories are unfolding at once, and the details look messy. Hopefully, Kate's okay. Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

Note: Some comments have been edited for length and/or clarity.