The Incredible Techniques That Press Secretaries Use To Get Royals To Do ‘The Right Thing’

The Incredible Techniques That Press Secretaries Use To Get Royals To Do 'The Right Thing'

In the latest episode, titled A Right Royal Aide, it explains the different roles within the palace and reveals why the royals’ private secretaries are so important.

 “Who runs the show? That’s a really interesting question. Because particularly the private secretaries, they’re the important ones. The private secretaries, they keep the show on the road,” he told us.

“They’re the machinery of the palace. They organise their public life, engagements, they’re their gatekeeper, they determine who gets to see the member of the royal family, they write speeches, they advise, they advise on policy, and they’re also a constant companion. They are with them a lot of the time.”

Kate with her Private Secretary Rebecca Deacon in 2015

He added: “But there’s the crucial question of who actually is running the show. Because the private secretary takes a lot of the day-to-day decisions. But the big decisions, and the kind of direction of travel, is taken by the sovereign.”

Valentine went on to explain the private secretary’s difficult job of trying to “persuade” their royal to do something when they are “set on another path”.

When I was writing my book Courtiers, the different techniques that the private secretaries would use to get their royal to do the right thing… It’s not about having a full-on row, because a full-on row doesn’t get you anywhere. Sometimes it’s about explaining the consequences.

Miguel Head and Prince William in 2015

“Sometimes it’s a question of recruiting allies. You might, if it was the then Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, you might want to get Camilla on board. It’s about using subtle techniques to get your way.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Valentine also reveals the incredibly “rude” comment that Prince Harry said to him and fellow members of the press during his tour of Australasia in 2018, and details the time that Prince William tried to set-up a meeting with Harry after learning of his unhappiness with royal life, and reveals why it never happened.

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