Introducing the first child of The Duke and Duchess of CAMBRIDGE! Latest royal PR blunder sees William and Kate listed as Archie’s parents on Royal Family’s website… days after baby announcement fiasco
- Son of Duke and Duchess of Sussex given own page on Royal Family’s website
- Yet Archie’s parents were mistakenly named as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
- It comes days after new PR guru failed to inform media outlets during birth
The son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, has been given his own page on the Royal Family’s website.
Yet in another royal PR blunder, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were named as the newborn’s parents instead of Prince Harry and Meghan.
It comes days after the Sussex’s new PR guru failed to inform media outlets worldwide what was going on during the most anticipated royal birth in years – as emails failed to send.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’s parents on his web page on the Royal Family’s website
Upon first being published, the newborn’s web page read: ‘He is the first child of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured right today on a visit to Newborough Beach).’ This was later changed to ‘he is the first child of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured left)’
Upon first being published, the newborn’s web page read: ‘Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born at 05:26 on Monday 6 May. He is the first child of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.’
This was later changed to ‘he is the first child of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’, but not before being picked up on social media.
One twitter user wrote: ‘Archie skipped ahead in the line to the throne if he’s the first child of the duke and duchess of Cambridge lol (laugh out loud).’
The mistake comes amid a number of mishaps from Meghan and Harry’s head of communications Sara Latham – first, failing to inform the world the Duchess had gone into labour and second, almost spoiling the first shot of their newborn.
As the couple’s private photographer got set to capture the very first picture of the couple loving cradling their new son Archie, Ms Latham was forced to run out of the way as the new parents strolled into St George’s Chapel today
As the couple’s private photographer got set to capture the very first picture of the couple loving cradling their new son Archie today, Ms Latham was forced to run out of the way.
Sara Latham, 48, was appointed to run the Sussexes’ press operation in March
Ms Latham walked into the chapel ahead of the couple, but appeared not to have left enough time ahead of their arrival as the new parents strolled into St George’s Chapel.
And on Monday, with the eyes of the world focused on the most anticipated royal birth in years, the PR manager failed to inform media outlets worldwide what was going on – because emails failed to send.
That is the excuse for Monday’s bizarre miscommunications from the team run by Ms Latham, the Anglo-American former Clinton aide appointed by Harry and Meghan in March to run their media operation.
But a ‘profuse’ apology from the Palace yesterday over emails sent at 1pm which didn’t arrive until 2pm hardly explains why the world was told Meghan had gone into labour at lunchtime, when in fact she’d given birth before dawn.
Prince Harry revealed shortly after 2pm that his wife had given birth to a healthy baby boy on Monday morning
The delays and faults meant the ITV lunchtime bulletin missed the news, and left veteran BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell mumbling into incoherence during a live two-way on Monday evening.
Yesterday Kensington Palace blamed ‘technical difficulties on site at Windsor’ for some media outlets receiving statements on time, others late, and some not at all.
But even that goes no way to explaining why, if the Duchess gave birthday in a London hospital at 5.26am, the press – who presumed her to be heavily pregnant in Frogmore Cottage – were told only that she had ‘gone into labour’ at lunchtime.
What we now know is that Meghan was spirited away from Frogmore on Sunday night, accompanied by her husband, her mother, and her royal protection officers.
The team headed to Portland Hospital in London, where Victoria Beckham gave birth and where a room in the birthing wing can cost up to £15,000.
A sign was placed outside the Prince Harry pub in central Windsor with the message ‘It’s a boy’ as the establishment also celebrated with balloons – not not until long after the birth happened
The announcement was also made from Buckingham Palace in a statement which included a long list of members of the Royal Family who were ‘delighted’ at the news and said Meghan’s mother Doria was ‘overjoyed’ – her father Thomas was conspicuously absent from those named
A man dressed as a town crier outside Windsor Castle proclaimed news of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby once the world was told
At around 4pm members of staff set up an official notice on an easel at the gates of Buckingham Palace in London
Less formally, the BT Tower in London broadcast a congratulatory message across the capital after the birth was announced – long after it had taken place
At 5.26am, Meghan gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 7lbs 3oz – the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild, and the seven-in-line to the throne.
A Right Royal Timeline: What happened, and when we were told
Sunday night: Meghan and her mother Doria are driven in secrecy to London’s Portland hospital accompanied by royal protection officers
Monday, 5.26am: Meghan gives birth
6.30am: Senior members of the Royal family are informed
1pm to 2pm: Palace aides try to send emails to alert the media that Meghan had ‘gone into labour’ – despite the fact the baby had been born six hours previously. But most outlets do not receive the emails.
1.30pm: Most of the media (and the rest of the world) still know nothing, but a spokesman for the Sussexes calls Sky News to arrange coverage of Harry’s statement.
1.45pm: Sky News exclusively reports Meghan is in labour. Sky was randomly selected as the pool broadcaster and distributed the footage as soon as it went to air, but it was seven minutes before it arrived with the BBC, and too late for ITV to cover in their 1.45pm lunchtime news bulletin.
2.03pm: The Palace’s email statement finally sends successfully to all outlets.
2.15pm: Harry pre-records his charmingly gleeful statement about the couple’s to-die-for son.
2.37pm: The Sussexes’ Instagram account posts a picture saying ‘It’s a Boy’, and the palace issues a press release announcing the birth
2.40pm: Harry’s statement is broadcast
Tuesday, 12.28pm: Palace PR officials issue apology over the day’s timings and announcements. But they still won’t confirm where the baby was born, or explain why the world was told the Duchess was in labour when she’d already given birth.
Meanwhile, the world new nothing of this and assumed she was still in Windsor, possibly on the verge of being induced with her baby more than a week overdue.
It was not until hours later, at 1pm, that the Sussexes’ new communications chief Sara Latham arranged for emails to be sent to news outlets.
It may not be a coincidence that the Anglo-American Kensington Palace operation timed the announcement to arrive at 8am Eastern Standard Time, in the middle of the American morning news shows.
But the emails didn’t send.
Ms Latham, 48, later explained there had been a ‘colossal tech failure’’ which meant the email informing the press did not reach most inboxes until more than an hour after it was sent.
She said: ‘We sent emails which showed as sent at 1327, 1349, 1403,’ according to The Telegraph.
However in the meantime, Sky News (which had been picked at random to be the ‘pool’ broadcaster which would syndicate its footage to all networks) had received the crucial call from the Palace to set up the Prince Harry announcement.
So at 1.45pm, which most outlets still in the dark, the Murdoch channel broke the news to the world that Meghan was ‘in labour’. Newsrooms around the world scrambled to catch up.
To make matters even more confusing, Buckingham Palace’s press office was still denying the baby had been born, according to a BBC source quoted in the Sun.
Less than an hour later, with journalists’ and royal watchers’ heads still spinning, Harry and Meghan’s Instagram account posted a picture saying ‘it’s a boy’.
Yesterday Kensington Palace apologised ‘profusely’ for the technical glitch on which they blamed arrival of the 1pm emails, and for the ‘inconvenience it caused’
But the apology leaves a number of questions unanswered.
The birth was officially announced on the Instagram page of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at 2.37pm, just a short nine hours after it happened
It might be understandable that the son of Princess Diana might want to keep the world’s media away from speculating about the health of his wife and son through the course of her labour.
But why, if the duchess had a healthy baby at 5.26am, was the world kept completely in the dark for more than eight hours?
And why was it announced first that she had gone into labour, when in fact the baby had been born?
Why if Harry’s announcement had been planned all along – as was later made clear – was the media not briefed in advance what it could expect, rather than a single phonecall to a single broadcaster?
And why, contrary to traditional and protocol, have the Sussexes insisted on keeping secret the names of the medical team who helped with the birth and the location of the delivery – when it will be legally recorded on the birth certificate anyway?
She has worked as an aide to the Obamas, the Clintons, and Tony Blair, but Sara Latham may find the questions she faces in the coming days the most challenging of her career.
How Meghan and Harry’s new right-hand woman has spun for Left-wing royalty: New adviser has political pedigree after working for Tony Blair, the Obamas and the Clintons
by Tom Leonard in New York for The Daily Mail, March 16 2019
Public relations is not a job for the faint-hearted, but even seasoned practitioners of the spin-doctoring arts might hesitate to take on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The royal couple are, after all, taking a step into the unknown as they and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge divide their respective households.
And Harry and Meghan’s recent public utterances suggest they have a radically different vision of their future to the royal tradition.
Those who foresaw Meghan forging a more star-studded, international and high-profile role for her and her husband than merely opening libraries and handing out bravery awards may be starting to think they are right.
For the Sussexes have now recruited a high-powered and impeccably well-connected communications director who has worked not only for Bill and Hillary Clinton but also Tony Blair.
Like the Duchess, Sara Latham is an American who has acquired dual US-UK citizenship. She also enjoys a reputation as a wily political operator with deep roots in the Democrat and New Labour camps.
Ms Latham is an American with duel citizenship and has her roots in the Democrat party and New Labour. She has worked with Tony Blair,
She was brought in to help choreograph Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996, helped to sneak in Barack Obama’s proposed Cabinet nominations for secret interviews after his election in 2008, and helped prepare Hillary Clinton for the White House as part of what was described as her ‘covert operations team’.
There may have been an added attraction for what appears to have been a selection made by the duchess, rather than Prince Harry.
She hasn’t hidden her loathing of Donald Trump, describing him on US TV as ‘misogynistic’ and publicly supporting Mrs Clinton’s rival presidential campaign.
Appointing a PR chief with a long-standing link to the Clintons – who of course Mr Trump hates – may be seen as a snub to the president.
Sources say the couple met Miss Latham, 48, only this year and were immediately drawn to her ‘firm but fair approach’. It is possible they were introduced via the duchess’s Hollywood friend George Clooney, whose wife Amal attended Meghan’s recent – and lavish – ‘baby shower’ festivities in New York.
Clooney was involved in raising funds for the Hillary campaign.
A former colleague yesterday described Miss Latham as ‘very smart and very good at dealing with difficult characters’. She is, he added, ‘very diplomatically adept’ and ‘not in it for the money’.
It is estimated she is on a salary of £140,000 which is relatively modest for what she could be earning in the corporate sector. Miss Latham had recently rejoined the London PR firm, Freuds, as its managing partner.
Ms Latham was brought in to help choreograph Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996, helped to sneak in Barack Obama’s proposed Cabinet nominations for secret interviews after his election in 2008, and helped prepare Hillary Clinton for the White House as part of what was described as her ‘covert operations team’
Reporting to the Queen’s press secretary Donal McCabe, Miss Latham will start her new job in the spring; the couple’s baby is rumoured to be expected next month.
Miss Latham will no doubt be paid as much as the palace could afford but spinning for the Sussexes would be no job for an amateur.
She seems to have risen effortlessly through the political and corporate worlds in a career that has seen her repeatedly assist global figures including allies of the Clintons and Tony Blair.
After being brought in for Bill Clinton’s successful 1996 re-election campaign, she worked as special assistant to Mr Clinton’s chief of staff, John Podesta.
Between 1996 and 2000, Miss Latham held other White House roles including deputy assistant to the president and, until 2000, deputy director of presidential scheduling. That position brought her close to the then-first lady.
After George W Bush won the 2000 presidential election, she moved to Brussels as a government affairs adviser for software giant Microsoft.
The next year, she moved again, this time to London to become managing director of Philip Gould Associates, the PR firm set up by the late Lord Gould, the former Labour strategy and polling adviser who was close to Tony Blair.
The Blair connection must have helped her move to Freud Communications in 2002. Its founder, Matthew Freud, was not only an ally of Mr Blair, but also had strong Democrat links.
In 2005, she was seconded to work for Labour’s general election campaign, after which she was appointed as special adviser to Tessa Jowell, Mr Blair’s culture secretary – just as the department learned London would host the 2012 Olympics.
Miss Latham left the Government in 2006 to set up her own consultancy. Naturally, her clients reflected her high-level contacts and included the Clinton Foundation and Tony Blair Associates as well as Coca-Cola and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The shake-up comes as Harry and Meghan prepare for their move away from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage (pictured) on the Windsor Castle estate
In 2008, she returned to Washington DC – after a farewell party at a trendy Mayfair bar – to work again for the Democrats.
This time she was employed by Barack Obama as he prepared to enter the White House. He had, of course, defeated her old boss Hillary Clinton in a heated battle for the Democrat nomination.
But the Clintons endorsed Mr Obama at the party’s 2008 convention, urging supporters to vote for him.
An expert, it appears, at helping politicians ‘transition’ into power, Miss Latham doesn’t hang around long in government – nor anywhere else, it seems.
By 2011 she had returned to the corporate world as non-executive chairman of iEnergizer, a supplier of ‘back-office’ services to banks which is run by multimillionaire Anil Agarwal.
Even in business, she did not allow her political links to wither, and was described in a 2012 report as the ‘go-to girl for top Democrats visiting London’. Miss Latham reportedly advised Michelle Obama on which restaurants to visit in the UK.
The year after it was back to politics to join Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president. Miss Latham was appointed chief of staff to John Podesta, now chairman of Mrs Clinton’s campaign.
A presidential candidate’s selection of running mate is an enormously sensitive operation. John McCain discovered this when he disastrously chose Sarah Palin in 2009 and internal staff tensions were leaked to the media.
Mrs Clinton was determined that shouldn’t happen again and Miss Latham was asked to oversee a VP selection process that was shrouded in secrecy.
As part of a ‘covert operations team’, Miss Latham marshalled reports drawn up by 15 law firms asked to vet candidates. She then printed them out in secret and posted them to Mrs Clinton.
As Mrs Clinton flew with Senator Tim Kaine – her eventual choice – to the Florida rally where she would break the news, Miss Latham lightened the mood by persuading him to pull out his harmonica. He obliged, playing a Beatles tune.
Confident she would win comfortably, Mrs Clinton appointed Miss Latham one of three aides to oversee ‘transition planning’ for her new administration.
That particular transition, of course, was never to happen.
Sara Latham likes to move on regularly in her career. One hopes for the duke and duchess’s sake she hangs around long enough to handle their often shifting public image.
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