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bitchy | Prince Charles & Camilla’s new comms chief was a Daily Mail executive

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It’s felt like both Clarence House and Kensington Palace have gone through significant staff overhauls over the past three or four years. In KP’s case, William and Kate ended up letting go of many of the staffers (even senior staff) who were around for the Sussex years. Clarence House operates differently though – many of Charles and Camilla’s senior staff have been around forever. There is one exception: the communications office. Charles is always hiring new comms people, as if he hopes to one day find the right people who will magically give him the exact advice to make him the perfect king-in-waiting. Well, Charles and Camilla’s latest hire is not that guy. Instead of looking for a qualified, competent, forward-thinking comms official, they just hired someone from the Daily Mail.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have appointed Tobyn Andreae, deputy editor of the Daily Mail, as their new communications secretary. Andreae, a seasoned newspaper executive who previously worked for The Sunday Times, will start his new role in the coming months. He will replace Simon Enright, 52, who joined Clarence House in May last year after serving as communications director for NHS England during the pandemic.

Charles and Camilla are understood to be keen for Andreae to oversee their public relations in the run-up to a change of reign, when he will become king and she queen consort. The duchess is understood to have taken the lead in Andreae’s appointment, closely consulting her friend Geordie Greig, the former editor of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, who is believed to have personally recommended him for the position. Greig and Andreae were both educated at Eton.

Camilla, 74, is thought to be keen for Andreae to build on the mostly positive media coverage she has received in recent years. In an interview with Vogue magazine to mark her 75th birthday this month, she admitted she had found years of criticism and often unfavourable media scrutiny “not easy”.

Next week, she will feature in a glowing ITV documentary, Camilla’s Country Life, focusing on her love of the countryside, to coincide with her role as guest editor of Country Life magazine.

Charles, 73, has recently faced more difficult media coverage, after The Sunday Times revealed he accepted cash donations of €3 million for one of his charities, from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, a former prime minister of Qatar.

The appointment of a veteran Associated Newspapers executive who has worked for Mail titles for 20 years has caused some eyebrows to be raised in royal circles. The group has been the subject of two recent legal actions brought by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex over its coverage of the couple. Speaking to the BBC last year, Andreae said that his newspaper “has very strong, very powerful views that not everybody agrees with, much to my amazement”. His appointment has also surprised some royal aides because of his lack of any previous communications or public relations experience. Andreae is described by a source as “straight-talking, terribly nice and incredibly well-connected”.

[From The Times]

So… Charles and Camilla’s new comms chief is from the Daily Mail. William and Kate’s new comms chief is an American who worked for NBC Universal. Wildly different backgrounds and, I would assume, wildly different outlooks on royal communications strategies. It’s interesting to me that Camilla is getting the credit/blame for this hire – I feel like that’s an untold story within the British media, how Camilla is able to push out staffers and make hiring decisions at this level. And it’s no surprise that Camilla has such significant ties to the Mail, honestly. Still, it’s such a bad look. The Mail is racist, jingoist trash, and this hire reveals how narrow and parochial Camilla’s vision for the future really is.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.



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