The decision to have the Prince and Princess of Wales attend the NBA match between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat on Wednesday evening has been described as a “significant own goal” made by the Palace by a PR and reputation management expert.
Commentator Edward Coram James analysed the engagement carried out by Kate and Prince William on their first day in Boston after a small portion of NBA fans booed the royals and chanted “USA” when they appeared on the maxi-screens at TD Garden in downtown Boston.
The CEO of Go Up told Express.co.uk: “In some respects the decision by the Palace to send the Prince and Princess of Wales to watch the Boston Celtics was a significant own goal.”
Mr Coram James went on to say Boston is a city that “carries a decidedly anti-traditional-elites, and thus anti-royal undercurrent”.
This, combined with the “progressive left leaning politics of the city” and the popularity of anti-royalist cultural phenomena such as the Hamilton musical created the “perfect storm” for the couple to face some resistance during the NBA game featuring the basketball team of the Massachusetts capital, the expert said.
Despite the incident at the match and the anti-traditional-elites stand mentioned by the expert, people in Boston have provided a warm welcome to Kate and William and large crowds have been gathering on Wednesday and Thursday to catch a glimpse of the royals and show their appreciation for them.
However, the Prince and Princess of Wales’ response to the scattered boos and chants could actually help win the Royal Family some supporters, the PR expert continued.
He said: “There is of course sense in shoring up your core support base by having the royals make appearances among royal sympathisers throughout a broadly pro-royal UK.
“However, a core feature of winning hearts and minds is to make difficult appearances among unfriendly audiences, and doing so with humility, grace, good humour and resilience.
“This is something that the Royal Family has never shied away from, most memorably in their recent tours to the Caribbean.”