Scobie: The Cambridges’ ‘charm offensive’ tour was ‘all offense, no charm’

I’m not tired of talking about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Colonialist Tour. It honestly felt like a watershed moment, the “jumping the shark” of the whole structure of the monarchy and the future of the Commonwealth. These are the same people who are still whining about sh-t the Duchess of Sussex did four years ago – we can still talk about the Flop Tour. So, Omid Scobie was highly critical – and I think fairly critical – of the Flop Tour as it was happening, as the images were coming in. Royal reporters blasted him, only to admit days later that the tour was going poorly for the exact same reasons Scobie enumerated. Scobie appeared on Newsweek’s The Royal Report podcast and he once again pointed out how sheltered William and Kate are and how their staffers are terrible at their jobs. Some highlights:

The Cambridges weren’t respectful towards the political climates: “With a tour such as this you’re visiting former British colonies, countries that have deep history when it comes to slavery that was sort of overseen mostly by Britain, and the royal family at times—it’s impossible to start a trip like that without feeling like it must be acknowledged in some way,” said Scobie. “I think partly the fact that this trip was to do with celebrating the queen’s jubilee… in the process [it] completely forgot about being respectful or mindful of the political climates in each country.”

The bad staff work behind the bad stagecraft: Meinzer said she believed the “whole world” was “cringing” when photographs of William and Kate were released meeting children separated by a chain link fence and also taking part in a military parade “dressed in white” with visual links to colonialism. Scobie provided insight into failings that lay within the Cambridge’s team on this subject: “The most important thing is to have people there who are actually mindful of what looks good and what doesn’t … I just think that that was lacking on this trip… There was no one there to identify [the fence photographs] as potentially problematic. Because we know the reality is that the couple were just trying to meet as many people as possible—there was nothing sinister behind those images—but it was the thoughtlessness.”

Had the tour been undertaken by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, would the reaction have been any different? Scobie continued that he believed the issue was bigger than the Sussex’s and that answers lay with the palace, adding: “I think we have seen in the past where a tour has been able to set the tone from the very beginning. I remember being in briefings for the Sussex’s tour of southern Africa and how it was Buckingham Palace staff who really went out of their way to say that this tour would be a little different. That the couple would be mindful of the politics within the local areas that they were visiting, that we wouldn’t be seeing state dinners, that there wouldn’t be the expensive wardrobes that you’re used to on a royal trip. So that was proof that at one point the palace did know how to make these things work in a modern environment.”

On William’s slavery-was-abhorrent speech: Scobie acknowledged that the prince was placed in a “tough position,” continuing: “For a member of the royal family to denounce slavery, to take ancestorally some sort of accountability for it and to apologize would also greatly affect the future of the royal family, because when you start apologizing or admitting that perhaps some of the wealth you have amassed within your family have come from such horrendous historical moments you’re going to be received with the calls of ‘give it back.'”

No charm: Scobie felt that the event as a whole lacked in the sensitivity needed during a modern tour of these areas, summing up his feelings with: “This tour was the charm offensive [and] it had been all offense, no charm.”

[From Newsweek]

I think Scobie is being completely fair here, but I’m sure the Rota reporters will have their panties in a bunch. Scobie even gives the Cambridges an out to blame most of the mess on bad staff work, but of course if anyone goes too far in that direction, questions will be asked about why, exactly, William and Kate have an all-white staff, and why they’ve never thought to hire better people who would be thoughtful and forward-thinking about the optics of traveling to Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas. Scobie’s reference to the Sussexes’ African tour is interesting too, because… the Sussexes weren’t part of Kensington Palace during that tour. They had their little off-shoot office in Buckingham Palace already by the fall of 2019. Meaning, Meghan and Harry were smart about the optics and they hired people who would show sensitivity. Meaning, KP’s mess is all its own, and William and Kate hire idiots.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Instar.

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110 Responses to “Scobie: The Cambridges’ ‘charm offensive’ tour was ‘all offense, no charm’”

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  1. SarahLee says:

    That picture in the Jeep is the one that I find most offensive. I understand the context of the kids at the fence, but the Jeep? No. And did Bahama really suggest this? Because we know Kate loves to cos-play. I could see her seeing a photo of the Queen and Prince Philip and saying “Oh, I’m keen to do this!”

    • Jan90067 says:

      “Because we know the reality is that the couple were just trying to meet as many people as possible—there was nothing sinister behind those images—but it was the thoughtlessness.”

      I’m not so sure about this, a “context” about the fence. There is NO WAY an image of POC kids behind a fence is a good look. Whether from the images from *this* country (during TFG’s caging of POC/kids in cages with “tin foil” blankets), to the kids here in these pics. This is an inexcusable optic, made all the worse because we KNOW just how racist these two are, and how repulsed they are being touched by POC (Keen shirking away from being touched was another fine “visual treat” they gave us).

      • TigerMcQueen says:

        I disagree with Scobie’s statement that there was nothing sinister, it was thoughtlessness.

        The guy should know that sometimes thoughtlessness definitely CAN be sinister!

        And in this case it’s sinister because the Cambridge’s have been shown to be willfully stubborn anytime they’ve been criticized for similar problematic behavior, and they refuse to listen, learn, or make any changes. They have chosen to be this way. Their staff is still lily white. Bill probably still thinks they’re very much not a racist family. They haven’t made any kind of effort to make amends for their campaign against Meghan. I could go on and on.

        But at some point it goes beyond ‘meant well but made mistakes’ to something much more deliberate and ugly. How can a family that’s supposed to be representative of a country and commonwealth (and in the year freaking 2022) not have ANYONE on staff who saw that fence and the people behind them and said, “Hey, let’s rethink this on our feet”? Either no one realized it, or they knew they were powerless to push back on anything like this with Bill and Mutton Buttons, and both scenarios aren’t not pretty.

      • Kelly says:

        I’m coming in to say that Scobie was right to honestly criticize, except for this comment about them not being sinister. The picture says it all. Look at it. Why are they always giving this couple a pass. “Well, you did horrible, stupid, racist stuff but at least you had good intentions”?????? I don’t get it. Why are they not prepared (in their future positions) to hear about all their stupid shit and be made to eat it. Full stop.

    • Nic919 says:

      The fence image was the result of not properly scoping the area ahead of time and foreseeing possible issues with a crowd behind the fence. And they weren’t able to react on the fly. It shows sloppiness on the part of a lot of people.

      The colonizer parade was intentional and planned and shows they thought this was a great image to replicate. And this falls on both William and Kate because they could have said they didn’t want to do it that way, or kate could have avoided a 1950s outfit. They did not. They are the same two people who thought being carried by persons of colour on thrones was a good idea. All the tradition defence bs is nonsense too. Charles managed to politely refuse the request. And the reality is that tradition was when people arrived by water and they had arrived by plane so the tradition didn’t even really apply in this case either.

      So Billy and Cathy wanted the colonizer cosplay. It’s what they have done since day one.

      • Becks1 says:

        the fence pictures were not good, and even if they were due to a lack of planning, the fact that NO ONE on their team said “heyyyy let’s not do this” or “heyyyy let’s not make these pictures THE pictures from the tour….” is problematic.

        But the military parade was SO BAD. SO BAD. It was intentionally meant to remind people of the “good old days” when Jamaica was a colony. There was no need for Kate to cosplay the queen, for william to be in full uniform. If someone wanted there to be a military parade, there were ways to do it without going full on colonizer.

      • Merricat says:

        Yes. The Colonizer Disaster Tour accurately reflected the white supremacist image that William and Kate believe in and willingly represent. That’s why they were shocked that people didn’t love it, because those two think they’re better than everyone else. Lol, reality.

      • Catlady says:

        It’s hard to imagine an advance person being so thoroughly incompetent that a photo op was scheduled next to a chain link fence. That person should have been fired on the spot.

      • Leslie says:

        Agree. They care more about cosplaying pictures of the queen and Diana than dealing with the issues of the actual countries they were in. Completely tone deaf

      • Lucy says:

        One of the footballers who was with them at the fence site showed how to interact, he was reaching over the fence to shake hands with people. They didn’t do that because they didn’t want to, not because they can’t think on their feet. Between that and Khate recoiling from the minister of sport and culture touching her, it’s pretty clear what the issues were. Omid shouldn’t be wasting his breath on this.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Merricat, bingo!!!! Willy and KHate LOVE being propped up and bowed to!!! They LIVE for being fawned upon and regarded as THE royals of the entire bunch!!! I think that Scobie was much too lenient in his assessment. Everything about this tour was WRONG!!!! The clothing, the copying, the tone deaf ideology behind all of it!!

        Willy and KHate dictated this tour, NOT their staff!! If they truly wanted to change, they would! But they don’t want to change!!! Willy and KHate want ALL of the glamour, the glitz and the glory without changing with the times!!!

        Until Willy changes his mindset and come into the 21st century, this is how HE will reign. You can’t force someone to change unless they want to, and he doesn’t see the need to!!

      • Lorelei says:

        I’m not defending a single person who was involved with this shitshow of a tour, but I also don’t think it’s totally out of the realm of possibility that at least one staffer *might* have told them, “hey, the photos by the chain-link fence will not look good” and William just brushed it off and strode right over anyway, because he always thinks he knows best and does whateverTF he wants.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      I think Scobie is generous in giving them an out. They certainly do not deserve it. This was a couple that orchestrated the empty plane stunt. A couple that sent their foundation CEO to court against their sister-in-law unasked. And we know one half of this couple shamelessly cosplays the sister-in-law she and her mother and uncle have been briefing against. They understand optics, use it regularly and are not babies being both 40 years old. The legacy of this disaster of a tour is what they deserve.

      • Nic919 says:

        William is always claiming he is a PR genius so the failure of the tour is his fault, along with assistance from his cosplaying wife. Any real leader accepts responsibility for their mistakes but as with everything Cambridge we see the staff being thrown under the bus for things we know came from directly from these two.

    • Myjobistoprincess says:

      On this tour, trying to re-do whatever happened last time the queen was there was an absolute mistake. They knew they wanted to recreate, re-capture the impression on pictures that during their tour, that they still own/are on top of these the ex-colonies. All their decisions were about ego. Willie and Katie are all about embiggening themselves, about ego and nothing really about the people. This tour transpired what they really are about and it’s not what we want Kings and Queens to be made of. That why they are so disliked.

      • Lorelei says:

        I’m not sure wtf William is ever thinking or what motivates (lol) him, but I’m pretty sure that the ONLY thing Kate cares about are the photos—that there are lots of them, and that she looks good in all of them. I really believe that it doesn’t bother her very much if there’s criticism *now*, since photos are forever and will outlast any temporary backlash. I honestly think her appearance is her one and only concern, ever.

      • Jais says:

        I’m at a point where I agree with you about Kate and the pics. There’s a vid that was posted by a few of the RR that didn’t get much play but was weird AF. It was when Kate and Will were drumming in Jamaica and you see her and will actually talking. She puts her arm around his back and they lean in close to talk and it actually looks fairly natural. But then she must see a photographer cuz she looks away from Will and does this hysterical laugh pose thing. A moment later the minister of culture that she had previously been awkward about touching does a cutting motion across her neck while looking at the drummers. As if she was saying alright they got their photos and we are done now. It reminded of the freeze laughing from their weird family video but worse. It was really sketch, at least to me, and confirms that she walks around in engagements looking for the photographers. It also reveals that normal people around them notice too. The RR front for them but the minister was like cut, they got their pics, we done. The videos reveal the truth and it’s sad but also horrifying. And this b- went at Meghan.

      • Sera Quell says:

        @Lorelei – re: kate – you are absolutely correct.

    • Lolaispretty says:

      That picture gives me the creeps with them out there all alone, literally on parade. Not to mention they were sitting ducks if anyone wanted to take a shot at them. Wrong and stupid from every point of view.

      • Jais says:

        Hold up. You mean them, the Cambridges, all alone out their with the native POC. Um okaaaay.

  2. Cel2495 says:

    It was an inept staff but also these two dimwit imbeciles. They failed to adapt to the changing situations and just plowing ahead without a care.

    • Catlady says:

      What Europe and North America fail to grasp is these counties are in a process of decolonization. No charm or offense is going to stop it and any royal tour to these countries should be centered around it. Frankly, I don’t think there is anyone at KP or BP who could have gotten this tour right.

      • Noo says:

        @catlady for N. Am, I think here in canada there is a lot more growing awareness of decolonization, including the pathway and aspirations of some former colony Caribbean countries. There’s a powerful long ways to go of course but I think it is oversimplified to lump Canada with wll of N. Am and Europe on this.

      • SomeChick says:

        I agree about Canada. they are taking action and attempting to do the right thing. it’s good to see.

      • Jaded says:

        Canadian polls clearly show that more than 50% of Canadians do not want a constitutional monarchy. That being said it would be a very complicated process to unravel. There would have to be unanimous consent from the House of Commons, the Senate and each of the provincial legislatures to change the constitution — a process that could take years to complete. Add to that the 30+ separate treaties our First Nations’ peoples have with the Crown, well you’re looking at decades of negotiations.

      • swiftcreekrising says:

        If you’re from the US and don’t understand how our culture is very much a result of European colonization and still benefits those who most reflect the European ideal (White, wealthy, etc.), you need to educate yourselves. “Colonization” is more than a political term.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      People tend to hire after their own image. You have to be smart to realise your staff is inept.

      • JT says:

        I don’t think America should be lumped in with that mindset either, we were a colony and then we fought for independence. Most of the more critical press from this tour actually came from the US, especially in the beginning. I think we know all too well about the process of decolonization and I would say that we are still trying to rid ourselves of the aftermath of that time period even now.

      • Catlady says:

        The US is a colonized nation that hasn’t even begun to decolonize itself.

      • Elliott says:

        @catlady By what state is the US colonized?

      • Kahlia says:

        @elliott The US was colonized by all the incoming Europeans and the original inhabitants were genocided down to 2%ish of the population. We are now mostly locked on tiny parcels of land trusts and kept in poverty through a unique system of government manipulation so we can keep tribal sovereignty. Native Americans continue to suffer under the thumb of the US government so everyone else can enjoy the US as it is today, colonized. Everyone but Native Americans are interlopers here now, enjoying the fruits of the colonial destruction of the original inhabitants of this country. Even Black people are free in ways that we can’t be because in order to protect our ways of life (what remains), we have to remain as sovereign tribes and cannot assimilate (all 574+ tribes are separate and unique). Your way of life is not ours and never was ours.

      • Nic919 says:

        The US was colonized by Britain and simply declared their independence from Britain sooner than the rest. But they continued with the genocide started by the British crown.

      • Sera Quell says:

        @Kahlia – your statement is powerful. And I am so sorry for what your people went through and are still going through.

  3. Jais says:

    The way the RR went off on Scobie for just stating that the optics were bad and then within days were saying the same thing was maddening to watch.

    • Chloe says:

      Just like they went off on harry and meghan for doing things a bit different just for the Keens to announce they want to do thing “their own way”

      (For the record: i don’t think the keens will actually change anything but still)

      • Lorelei says:

        Whenever the Sussexes wanted to do anything differently, it was “disrespectful,” yet now that the Cambridges want to, it’s brilliant.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      I think that the rota rats are beginning to realise that the Cambridges are not viewed too fondly outside of England’s bubble. The rest of the world doesn’t think much of them at all.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I would love to hear what Brits think of Willy and KHate!! They would be the ones to know. They must not be too happy with either of them, especially now.

        As for where this goes, it will go nowhere! Willy has NO interest in changing as he sees that he isn’t the problem, the rest of the staff and any other body he can throw under the bus, is the problem.

        If they think that Willy, or CopyKeen, will change, they are more foolish than I thought they were.

      • aquarius64 says:

        The RRs are realizing they are seen as jokes with non UK legitimate press.

      • CatLady26 says:

        @bothsidesknow: I was on Twitter for the first time ever while this tour took place. I actually got so angry that I’ve vowed to never read the comments like that again. So many British were
        taking this tour and saying that this is how a king and queen should behave. One user kept tweeting over and over that they want reparations from Italy for the Roman occupation. And of course Meghan was a topic of discussion, in that they blamed whatever went wrong on the Oprah interview and said that her ‘lies’ (which they claimed have been somehow proven to be false). What was glaringly obvious from the comments was that royalists / tories / whatever you want to call them are living in a bubble. It’s like an echo chamber. And now that we know that even the state run BBC is mostly run by the Tories, it demonstrates just how much of an echo chamber and how much propaganda there is. There was absolutely no understanding of what was happening in the real world. Over and over and over, it was all about how this is how a future king and queen should behave and how ungrateful the people they visited have shown themselves to be.

      • Nic919 says:

        I wouldn’t take too many of the royalist tweets seriously because KP has purchased many bots to repeat garbage. Someone found identical wording in posts from the black fishing KP supporter with initials KA and another frequent poster with a name that starts with O. And that was just one example.

        Real life is what happened in the Caribbean.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    Truer words have never been spoken – ‘offensive’ is pretty much the Cambridge brand nowadays.

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      This is the dude that can’t even go to an international football game without pissing off the governments of BOTH teams.

      “Finding new and creative ways to create diplomatic incidents!” is their office motto.

  5. SarahCS says:

    They are out of their depth in a puddle and it shows. They hire for sycophancy and loyalty and it also shows.

    We absolutely need to keep talking about the Flop Tour and remind people how truly terrible these two tax-payer funded leeches are. There is zero need for a monarchy in 2022.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      I completely agree. They’ve tried blaming everyone including Meghan for their inability to do the most basic of their jobs and it’s not working. It may be too late for them to salvage their reputation.

  6. AC says:

    The entire Caribbean tour was offensive. The ride in the jeep symbolizes colonizers, shaking hands with kids through a fence, the awkward dinner with the Jamaican Prime Minister. It was the entire trip!

    • VoominVava says:

      Yep, every last bit. They didn’t draw any attention to any causes either.
      The Jeep photo juxtaposed to the photos coming out of Ukraine were shocking. Even my Mom said, “why is Kate doing a fashion show during a war?”

  7. equality says:

    Instead of worrying about the number of people he employs perhaps Will should modify his “Cambridge” plan to take into account the qualifications of those he employs.

  8. Kitty says:

    To me the bubble has bursted for the British monarchy. The institution had put all their eggs in one basket with Will and Kate but that Caribbean tour fumbled and showed the world the British royals aren’t here for the 21st century. I believe once The Queen passes away, they are all DONE.

  9. SussexWatcher says:

    The Colonialist Cambridges completely own the entire mess of the tour. All of the racist images, all the bad press, and all of the decisions because they hired their staff (and also are two, supposedly educated, grown adults who could have pivoted during the tour…isn’t that what The Other Brother wants, more on the fly decisions? More winging it?).

    TOB and Kkkeen remind me of the Orange Menace – it’s anybody and everybody else’s fault but their own. The buck stops…with someone else.

  10. Lili says:

    i think what scobie said was quite interesting about the sussexes scaled back tour, so ineffect they shot themselves in the foot, H&M made a lot out of so little, to the point now that everything has been thrown at WC its an abject failure LOL

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      They were so hell-bent on depriving the Sussexes and ‘putting them in their place’ but they turned those lemons into every conceivable lemon product. In contrast the Cambridges fumbled at every golden opportunity presented to them.

      • VoominVava says:

        They surely royally screwed up. They saw what the sussex tour had and wanted it for themselves. The sparkly dresses, the Jeep ride, it was all a photo opportunity to show they are biggerer and betterer, but even royalists are sick of the facade. Will and Kate don’t know how to do anything other than be a photo opportunity and cut ribbons.

    • Lizzie says:

      The df had a great time saying Meghan would not get any royal jewels to wear.

      • aquarius64 says:

        On the Fiji leg of the Oceania tour Meghan received a beautiful strand of Fijian pearls from the country’s first lady as a gift. It’s called the Sussex Strand. You know that didn’t go down well. That’s why she was dragged for those earrings she wore at the Fiji state dinner.

      • Feeshalori says:

        Those pearls were gorgeous and I’ve never seen her wear them. I’m curious if they went into the vaults since these were given on a tour or if she was able to keep them personally. It would be a shame if that luscious strand is locked up in the vaults.

  11. Jay says:

    I think we can all acknowledge the bad staff work at play, but the root of the problem is always going to be the people who hired such staff in the first place. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of KP staffers are cut from the same white, conservative cloth as their bosses. Of course they saw nothing wrong with the colonialist cosplay! And if they did, they certainly were not willing to say anything.

    I just keep imagining a scene 15 minutes before the Cambridges stepped in to that jeep in their all-white plantation owner costumes. Nobody said “Hmm, you know, given some of the criticisms we’re already seeing, maybe…let’s take it down a notch. When we were planning this, it seemed like a cute tribute to the queen, but I don’t think people will appreciate it that way today.” No, they said “Looking good, as always, your highness!!!” and went to update their CV.

    • Nic919 says:

      Let’s all remember that this staff thought it was professional to leak mean names about Meghan to the press. And they did it because they knew William and Kate did not have a problem with it. And even though Jason Knauf is not there officially, he is likely the one who hired a lot of them so they all have the same weasel type behaviour along with their racism and obsequiousness toward Billy and Cathy.

    • TigerMcQueen says:

      This is what shocked me the most about the jeep incident, that it came after such a disaster filled start to their time in Jamaica. After after the criticism of the fence images, and especially after the public firing by the prime minister, they STILL went ahead with the colonialist cosplay. It was stomach turning.

      • Becks1 says:

        Agreed @TigerMcQueen – what I found so shocking about the jeep incident wasn’t just that they did it, even though in itself it was the kind of event that I can’t believe anyone EVER thought it would be a good idea – but they went ahead with it after being criticized for the fence pictures, after being fired by the PM, after the Belize protests….they really thought things were fine and that this was an event that would go over well.

        they could have walked out and met members of the military without being in uniform (William) or without being in Queen cosplay (Kate) and then would have been praised for their ability to “pivot” etc. But nope.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Becks1, but entire tour was done at the behest of Willy and CopyKeen. Willy has no interest in speaking with anyone as he showed everyone with regards to the protests in Belize, on property that Willy is a member to the board of. Not only is their staff incompetent but do you honestly believe that Willy would take their advise? I don’t think he would, ever. Willy thinks that he knows it all and no one can tell him any differently. The problem lies with both Willy and CopyKeen. They are both incapable of growing into the current times but they want it this way, otherwise they aren’t loved and revered. Willy is doomed to fail due to his own ego, nothing more.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lambridges have difficulty hiring staff as they will all grow tired and insufferable from being the scapegoats, the smart ones will at least.

      • Becks1 says:

        @BothSidesNow but that’s part of my point. William and Kate are so insulated and so convinced that they’re right that even THEY didn’t stop to think about how bad the optics were for that military parade. It didn’t have to be the staff telling them not to do it. They’re grown ass adults, they knew they were getting destroyed in the press, they knew the Jamaican PM just fired them, and they STILL went ahead with it. I’m not giving the Cambridges a pass, exactly the opposite.

      • Lorelei says:

        I can’t remember which podcast I heard this on, but the host had a bunch of ideas right off the top of her head as to ways they could have made the Land Rover event better. They could have sat instead of standing. Kate could have worn a simple blue dress or something similarly toned down. They could have opted to walk and ditch the Land Rover completely (although we know that one would never even be under consideration with them).

        W&K aren’t smart or perceptive, they don’t care, and they’re not going to change no matter what grand pronouncements Bill makes.

    • Carrotface says:

      I can’t believe they didn’t manage to pivot the Jeep photo op after the bad press they got before. They wouldn’t have had to eliminate it entirely, just change it – maybe the Jamaican gov’t could have just brought out the Jeep and W+K could have fawned over it and looked at photos of Liz and Phil’s previous photo op? Maybe Will could’ve driven it around a bit? I feel like this was an unforced error for them to do a full colonialist reenactment of something 60 years ago when there were ways to be like “yay look at the cool Jeep Gran and Gramps drove around in” that wouldn’t have had such horrible optics.

      • Jais says:

        Idk, I felt like someone from Jamaica should have been gifted that car and they could have rode it around while Will and Kate sat their asses down in less offensive clothes, possibly something fracking local.

        Btw, carrotface, you have my favorite comment ever, in the history of time that I have been reading Celebitchy, when you talked about Kate’s photos being like having consumption but still pretty. I legit think of that quote often and just start laughing.

  12. JMoney says:

    I listened to this podcast episode and Scobie made a point that had they done their colonial cosplay in the UK it would have gone down well. Part of it is that most brits don’t pay attention to the royals therefore the RR and monarchists can shape the discourse around them in the UK . It’s only when they took it overseas that it was a major flop.

    B/c the Cambridges are so lazy they depend on the UK foreign office and their staff to dictate what a royal tour is going to look like and more importantly which countries the UK prioritizes or takes seriously in comparison to those it doesn’t. For instance, when W&K visit India or Pakistan, Kate’s team suddenly gets the memo, she wears Indian/Pakistani designers, meets with businessmen and the tone and look is much more “serious”. In contrast, when they went to the Caribbean its all about “fun” i.e. dancing with locals, meeting with kids, etc. I’m glad more people are catching on b/c the Royals are a reflection not of the UK overall but the UK establishment who props them up and tells them where to go for Royal Tours and their perception of those countries which aligns how W&K view those countries.

    Lastly, W&K will never legally divorce b/c one thing Will does care about its optics. It’s why he killed the rosebush story in the UK. The only thing he literally has going is most monarchists think he is not his dad esp in terms of his marriage. W wants people to view him and Kate as The Queen and DoE and wants the reverence they had transferred to them. He might not be able to stand Kate but one thing Kate won’t do is ever leave him. Oh he has side pieces for sure (as did the DoE) but legally divorce? No, he doesn’t want ppl to see him as his dad and as we’ve all seen how fragile the monarchy can be, even he isn’t dumb enough to risk that with something such as divorce. Besides, I don’t think W has ever loved another person enough to warrant shaking the monarchy with a divorce and even if he did, why on earth would they agree to marry him?

    • MsIam says:

      I think that the cat is out of the bag as far as Will being seen as the “dutiful” husband. It wasn’t just the divorce that sunk Charles, it was the cheating too. And William can’t control the internet as he so rudely found out. The queen and Philip didn’t have Twitter and blogs to contend with, just gossip around dinner tables. So them staying together isn’t fooling anyone, unless its them. So I doubt a divorce will sink the monarchy but incompetence and being tone deaf will.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Will and Kate will definitely divorce at some point. This tour made that a certainty. Optics matter to Will, but this tour has definitely opened the door to wide ranging negative coverage. At some point, someone will come forward with details about his financial shenanigans or his affairs. Once his PR is blown, Kate will get tossed aside and run over, taking the blame for every mistake Will has made. It will be the perfect way to reboot.

      I don’t know when, but it is going to happen.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I agree. Willy isn’t one to take responsibility for anything and CopyKeen certainly dragged the entire Monarchy down with her excessive spending as well as the videos we saw of her being revolted by being approached or, god forbids, touched!! This tour wasn’t solely charmless, it was flat out colonialism at its finest!!! The stink left from this tour will stay with Willy his entire life and if he can cut some of that stink off by dumping CopyKeen, he would do it without hesitation!! It’s all about Willy and only Willy!!

    • Lurker8 says:

      William has already lost that competition with his father and brother. He looks miserable with Kate. Charles and Camilla look more content and get aling with each other.

      Harry and Meghan are openly in love, and look physically and emotionally in tune with each other.

      William is not winning anything over his father. No one forced him to marry Kate. If he doesn’t intend to initiate a divorce, he should work on accepting this is the life he wanted and not walk around with a miserable look on his face. Kate looks like she’s holding up whatever end of the bargain they may have, he should uphold his.

      • kelleybelle says:

        That last picture of them standing beside each other? The overdone green dress? Dismal, just plain dismal.

  13. girl_ninja says:

    They are truly awful people. Hopefully the U.K. free themselves of this albatross.

  14. Lizzie says:

    Do we know the cost of the tour? As for that pic in the jeep, I find Bill’s military uniform much more offensive thank Kate’s white dress. It gave real ‘remember when we ruled you’ vibe.

    • Merricat says:

      Kate’s white dress mimics the white dress the queen wore, as William’s uniform mimicked Philip’s. Offensive on more levels than are obvious.

    • Lorelei says:

      @Lizzie, I read someplace that it might have been considered disrespectful if William hadn’t worn his uniform, since they were attending a military event (a graduation, I think?). Of course I can’t remember where I saw it, and who knows for sure if it’s true, but it makes sense to me.

      It might have been the one single thing that idiot did right over the entire course of this tour. (I don’t disagree with you that it looked TERRIBLE! He looked like a literal dictator. But apparently he was following protocol ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

  15. AmelieOriginal says:

    Even if Will and Kate don’t have POC on staff, wouldn’t they reach out to groups associated with Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas in London? There may not be a sizeable community of Belizeans and Bahamians in London, I have no idea. But I would feel there could be a sizeable Jamaican population. In any case, you’d think they would reach out to associations based in London with ties to these countries and ask them how to go about things in a sensitive way. Or I dunno, work with the communities in the countries and ask them?? Who are they consulting to plan these tours? And also Kate did not wear one single designer from any of the host countries except for some jewelry and one clutch that I can recall. She’s always been so good at doing that in the past, what happened this time? Was she too obsessed with flag cosplay? Or did they think Kate wearing a host country designer would be considered too pandering? Or not sensitive?

    • Lucy says:

      There was a sizeable Jamaican population, but they’re busily deporting them. They held off on deportations for like a month before the fail tour, so they did recognize that tiiiiiiiny bit of optics.

      They didn’t ask anyone because they didn’t care. They don’t care what these (former) colonies think or want, that’s the whole problem. They thought they could re enact the British good old days, and it would be the good old days for them too. You can’t fix stupid, or willfully blind.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @AmelieOriginal: Both Belize and the Bahamas have High Commissions in London, KP could have reached out to them for advice on the tour even if they couldn’t meet representative groups.

  16. Over it says:

    I think the fault of the tour is 💯 William and Katie. They staff only do what they want and what they allow. Kate and William are idiots so they can’t be expected to hire genius

    • Charm says:

      Its kinda the other way around: the staff does the recon, present willnot&kannot with some options, and then w&k choose.

      So these are their choices….the kids behind the fence, for example: they brought Raheem Sterling and Leon Bailey to hype up the youth (both Jamaican-born English footballers and very popular in JA.) Raheem has a Foundation that provides opps for youths so willnot&kannot just did what comes naturally: cannibalize the work of others. They brought Raheem and Leon so they could ensure a crowd of youngsters.

      And they deliberately chose the betty-and-phillip-colonialist-circa-1950s cosplay because THATS HOW THEY WANTED TO BE SEEN by their sycophants and, very importantly, by his brother and wife.

      Willnot, kannot and their sycophants are DYING for them to take the thrown because they believe its only at that point that they will prove how much better and more successful they are than H&M. The sycophants continuously have wet dreams about M bowing to kannot when she becomes kweeen.

  17. Amy Bee says:

    Omid will get attacked for this but he’s right. I’ve been saying that if Harry and Meghan care about this, they should feel vindicated because they were telling people in the Palace that their approach to things were wrong and insensitive but they just saw Meghan as someone who didn’t know her place and didn’t respect tradition. It’s true there was marked difference between the Australia tour and the South African tour and it was because Harry and Meghan was more involved in the planning and had their own team.

  18. Becks1 says:

    The buck stops with William and Kate. It doesn’t matter how many of these incidents were due to mistakes of the staff, William and Kate are the Duke and Duchess and they were the ones representing the monarchy so this failure is on them. And part of that failure IS who they hire. If their staff can’t figure out how to avoid such PR “mistakes” as the fence pictures, then they need new staff, but they have to replace them with competent staff, and I’m not sure that’s what W&K want. They want sycophancy, not competence.

    Those two have an arrogance that I think isolates them and blinds them to criticism, and then they’re surprised when the criticism can’t be controlled. For example, even without all the colonialist imagery, one criticism before this tour ever happened was that it was poorly timed and it seemed like W&K just wanted a vacation. So what did they do? Took a day “off” essentially to go scuba diving and posted videos and pictures of said scuba diving. But dont worry guys, it wasn’t a vacation, they were totes working hard! But had they read the room, they could have avoided that mistake.

    • Cessily says:


    • Nic919 says:

      Neither William or kate have faced real criticism and being coddled for over a decade results in this. The press protected them and so they have never really faced consequences for their actions and lack of work ethic for over a decade.

      This tour was designed for a UK audience especially the Brexit crowd to remind them of when they were important and headed an empire. Unfortunately the rest of the world does not recall imperialism with the same nostalgia, especially the former colonies, where the British came in and profited from the land and the local people. Rule Britannia doesn’t work outside of the UK. Even in Canada the royals tend to avoid visiting Quebec because the anti monarchist sentiment is strongest there. No one likes to be reminded of when the British came in and took over and made everyone else second class citizens.

      So this tour was done with a huge lack of a sensitivity because William and Kate are not bright people and have Tory advisors who are blind to where the UK really stands in the world stage.

      It is also very interesting that Charles has managed to do many tours over the years to a variety of countries that are majority non white and there have not been fiascos like this.

    • Lorelei says:

      @Becks, we need to remember the one time they did hire someone competent, Catherine Quinn, she didn’t last long. Probably because Kate refused to take any of her advice or follow any of her instructions. Quinn’s frustration must have been unbearable.

      She skedaddled out of there the minute her contract was up.

  19. Maida says:

    When Scobie refers to “slavery that was sort of overseen mostly by Britain,” he’s really saying it all. The horrible optics of this visit highlighted the reality that the BRF’s vast wealth, and the British Empire’s wealth and power, rest on the backs of exploited people of color. There’s no waving that away. It’s just an historical fact.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Yes, @ Maida, but they keep ignoring that fact!! The Crown doesn’t want anyone of these bones dug you as they would have to return their ill gotten gains and that will have to be pried from TQ’s cold, dead hands!!

      • Maida says:

        True! Same reason we see such pushback about acknowledging the grave harm slavery has done to Black people in the U.S.

  20. Rapunzel says:

    You cannot lead a charm offensive with weapons from the past. Will and Kate using an antiquated playbook were guaranteed to fail. To be charming, you need to know what currently charms people. Will and Kate have no clue, and thought they could be charming with what charmed in 1950. It was never going to succeed.

    Also, if you have to say you’re leading a charm offensive, you’ve already lost, because that’s not charming.

    • Feeshalori says:

      To me, the phrase charm offensive means it’s all show and no substance. I see nothing flattering in this terminology as if they think people are too stupid that they’ll be fooled by a mere lightweight show of flattery and nothing else. I think it’s condescending and needs to be retired if the royals want any meaningful and impactful tours in the future.

      • Lorelei says:

        @Feeshalori, yes! I also thought it was literally INSANE to actually call the tour a “charm offensive” over and over again so publicly in the press in the months leading up to it, and I cringed every time I read it in the lead-up to the tour.

        If I lived in one of the countries they were visiting and saw the constant “charm offensive” headlines, I would have resented W&K’s presence before they even landed. It’s basically bragging about how effortlessly they believe they can manipulate you, and showing how easily influenced they think the peasants are.

        They’re essentially shouting that they think their subjects are stupid and vapid enough to be so ‘wowed’ by seeing a couple of royals waving from afar that it will *influence their political beliefs.* It is so insulting to the intelligence of the entire country, JFC

        Fine if they want to call it a charm offensive behind closed doors, during the planning stages, but you don’t announce to the world that all it takes is a sprinkling of “charm” (and in this case, there wasn’t even any of that) and the peasants will want to stay tethered to you. It’s so unbelievably condescending that I truly couldn’t believe they kept stating it so boldly.

        I would think that at the very least, Charles would know not to publicly use that terminology, but apparently not.

        They were just putting it right out there in black + white: “We’re coming to manipulate you into changing your minds and keeping us!” Like…who on earth thought it was a good idea to flat-out TELL the people of the Caribbean their ulterior (and only) motive for visiting?! Absolute morons, all of them.

        I can’t get past how insulting it would feel to a resident of the commonwealth to read that. It would automatically turn me into a republican if I wasn’t one already. The arrogance.

  21. Gabby says:

    Does this disaster that is KP mean that Jason Knauf was the brains of the operation?

    • Jaded says:

      I think Jason is still involved with the Cambridges in a “behind the scenes”, Machiavellian sort of way. He’s their #1 sycophant and I imagine the underlings at KP are his puppets on a string with strict orders from Bulliam to follow Jason’s orders.

  22. Cara says:

    At what point does the press acknowledge that William and Kate might be sheltered but they have the same Google as the rest of us.

  23. Truthiness says:

    You can say words like “slavery is abhorrent” but if you still have paintings in your house of a black child as a servant to take care of horses, your words are pretty hollow. Why cover up the name plate for POC visitors when the subject matter is worse? Yes I know it’s a significant artist from hundreds of years ago, it shouldn’t be in their home. Will’s words ring hollow.

    • Nic919 says:

      What non racist person would want that painting in their home? It is an awkward painting putting it in your living room suggests that you are fine with objectifying children of colour for your own amusement. Kate and William were 30 when they chose this painting for their home. There is no excuse for their racism. And it was only 9 years after William had his racist colonials and natives party for his 21st birthday, which kate attended.
      In 2003 it was racist for rich white people to show up to a birthday party with African tribal wear. If the media wasn’t so racist themselves , they would have called out this racism as much as they did the Nazi uniform. Because it is all racist.

    • Gabby says:

      Or order a drink called the Crack Baby?

  24. ABritGuest says:

    I think it’s a great point about it seeming like it’s all dancing & entertaining the royals on certain tours they do. I didn’t follow their engagements closely but eg was there much highlighted about the work Raheem Sterling’s foundation is doing in Trench town & why? Did Kate speak to issues on the ground around early childcare in Jamaica & the Bahamas? What about mental health?

    The content I saw seemed pretty light weight & couldn’t see where they added much value. Just coming to shake hands etc & “celebrate the queen” isn’t going to mean much in the era of Black Lives Matter especially when you are from the original coloniser family visiting countries that were subjugated. So I think that was part of the issue & why the ‘throwback images’ calling back the queen& Philip’s visits that would have been fine in England, didn’t go down well in the Caribbean.

    Given that the Wessexes are apparently shelving a similar car inspection thing for their Grenada trip, I suggest that idea WAS from the palace not Jamaica. W&K have to take ownership of fact they proceeded with that despite the backlash they were receiving in advance of that engagement. It showed an inability to course correct but seeing all we have over recent years it’s not entirely surprising that people in the BRF aren’t exactly the best strategic thinkers. You can see why the BRF needs the invisible contract

    This tour was a hot mess & it was something to see KP openly criticised even if people were more blaming the staff. They lost control of the narrative & it must have been eye opening to see how the BRF’s stars are viewed on the ground outside of the tabloid bubble.

    • Nic919 says:

      KP is briefing hard and throwing everyone under the bus so I do question the accuracy of whether or not the Wessexes were going to do a similar colonizer parade in the same way the Cambridges did.

    • equality says:

      I guess, Ed and Sophie are glad W&K went first on their tour so they can see what not to do.

  25. SMS says:

    I think a big problem with the royal family and their staff is that they really believe their own propaganda. They really think the Queen Mother was adored, people loved Prince Philip’s unfiltered foot in mouth, the Queen is the most respected woman on the planet. Honestly outside the UK they’re all just celebrities with fancy jewels and funny outfits. All that popularity is incredibly shallow and only some old people really care about them.
    For WIlliam and Kate or even Charles to expect the deference the Queen gets because of her old age is ridiculous and they lack the magnetism of Diana (although you hope they also lack her personal demons).

  26. L4Frimaire says:

    I listened to this podcast and Scobie was more than fair to them, and his criticism was correct. It seems though thst they are trying to foist the blame on their staff and even the Jamaican government. This is the tour they wanted because they thought it would make them look good. It was way more about them and their self-promotion, than about the countries and the peoples they were visiting. On the Sussexes South Africa tour, they highlighted women’s initiatives, education, gave away scholarships, did events with Halo trust, and highlighted local charities and businesses, and made those organizations the center of the tour. They had a packed schedule and did a lot, and their approach was one of partnership and learning. What exactly did the Cambridge’s do? They visited a few events but they were not emphasized, and don’t know if they contributed anything towards them. This was about them and photo ops.

  27. candy says:

    “That the couple would be mindful of the politics within the local areas that they were visiting, that we wouldn’t be seeing state dinners, that there wouldn’t be the expensive wardrobes that you’re used to on a royal trip. So that was proof that at one point the palace did know how to make these things work in a modern environment.”


  28. Kitt1 says:

    The problem here isn’t about optics management (though that is all the lesson W&K will get out of their Caribbean tour). The reason why the Sussexes’ SA tour was successful is because Meghan (and Harry) gets the complex and visceral part of racism. With Meghan’s personal perspective, she is more aware of colonialism pitfalls as a woman of color and as a non British person. Meghan understood some of the problems South Africans faced. There’s currently no one in the Windsor households who dares to insist W&K find time away from coordinating OTT outfits and cocktails to actually learn about geopolitics and develop cultural/racial awareness in a meaningful way.

    This is why W&K can hire the best and most savvy PR gurus, even non white faces, but it can’t buy the authentic connection and understanding. That and they are lazy, thin skinned, and unwilling to learn and admit when they are wrong.

    Common people deal with BS all the time and are quick to identify BS for what it is, because they have no flacks, ‘yes’ people, media protection and vast public funded resources and wealth to buffer them from reality. This is why people will see through the royal BS.

    This is why Will can’t go anywhere with his hope and (in) action bumper sticker. Brits are suffering now and there is a lot of gloom and pessimism. Kids are poorer with worsening health metrics despite Kate’s much publicized early education initiative. Their initiatives are paper tigers. Instead of acknowledging multiple crises many Brits are facing daily, the Windsors are fighting for best PR angle and ways to reinvent themselves. These royals are self-centered and selfish. The many articles about them reflect their soap operatic lives. That’s the essence of their usefulness, to fill the airtime of Entertainment Tonight and reams of royal entertainment columns.

  29. Debbie says:

    I think Scobie was extremely diplomatic (but then, he’s had to be, hasn’t he?), particularly with William’s speech about slavery and one of the reasons why William didn’t apologize or properly denounce those who benefited from slavery and continue to do so. William and Kate’s tour sucked because their motive for going to those countries at this time was selfish. I hope they choke on their upcoming Jubbly.

  30. Antanina says:

    It’s not “the Sussex’s”, it’s the Sussexes.
    Not “the Sussex’s tour”, it’s the Sussexes’ tour.
    Not “the Cambridge’s team” , it’s the Cambridges’ team.

    • Nic919 says:

      The Newsweek article wrote it that way this is a quote pulled from that article. The parts written by Kaiser are grammatically correct. Maybe post this under the Newsweek article.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Antanina, communication is always tricky, but the most important element is whether people understand what you are communicating. Perhaps the spelling isn’t always correct, but the thought being communicated is in no way diminished because of it.

  31. Bobby the K says:

    As a Canadian, I can’t help but be concerned that it’s just a matter of time and Charles will be on our money.

    Is it really going to take that long?

  32. Tessa says:

    Does Kate believe her own PR, seems that way, making the trip about her clothing and hair.