I have fond memories of seeing the Britain’s Royal Family including Queen Elizabeth on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in July of 2012, a decade ago while on vacation with my husband. We happened to be there when Prince William was being inducted into the Order of the Thistle for his 30th birthday.
As you may have seen from the BBC news report, the Queen, 96, passed today at Balmoral Castle near Aberdeen, Scotland. There were rumors that she may have suffered a stroke. May she rest in peace and yes, it does make me a bit sad. She ruled as the Queen literally my entire life.
As a publicist, I had to think hard about how this will affect my clients and publicity outreach during the next week or so. Instead of sending several notes, I decided to write this.
Several reporters will care about this a lot, and when it comes to the news airwaves and in particular broadcast and ‘major media’ this story and related news will take up a lot of space. Recall that 2.5 billion people watched Princess Diana’s funeral. That’s up there with World Cup soccer viewership which was around 3.5 billion in 2018.
Here are three ways the passing of the Queen of England will affect business dealings in the next few weeks:
- The Monarchy, while admittedly a tad antiquated, has an influence over many world decisions and happenings. Whether you like it or not, the Queen’s viewpoint and charity choices mattered. Recall the time she used a Cisco WebEx (not a Zoom) to communicate to promote safe social distancing during Covid.
- A change in power, whether it’s an elected government or ‘royal’ affects markets. Stocks may be affected by this. When Charles is declared ‘King Charles III’ which may have happened already, I’m curious how markets will react.
- The Royal Family, especially Prince William and Princess Kate and their adorable children are ‘bellwethers of happiness’ to much of the world. Despite the cost of castle upkeep and governments budgets being tight, many eyes globally enjoy reading about the family regularly: When there is good news, it makes them happy. Royal weddings are some of the most watched and beloved events worldwide. Marriages and grandkids make people happy and give them hope for the world. A death of this magnitude may make many millions sad.
My public relations advice to you is to be aware of the Queen’s passing, be sensitive when reaching out to others, because it’s upsetting news to many, and expect it to have an effect on some business dealings and markets.
Michelle McIntyre is a Silicon Valley-based technology publicist and IBM vet. @FromMichelle on Twitter. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Queen Elizabeth II in 2015.