A new public relations adviser will join The Queen’s staff next month.
Buckingham Palace announced Wednesday that Donal McCabe, former director of corporate communications at the high street bookmaker Ladbrokes, would take on the new role of Communications Secretary.
The Queen’s former top PR aides, Director of Communications Sally Osman and Media Secretary Steve Kingstone, both left their roles in 2018.
The official statement from the palace reads:
“Mr Donal McCabe has been appointed as communications secretary to the Queen. Mr McCabe was formerly director of corporate communications at Ladbrokes Coral plc where he oversaw communications for corporate, internal, and government affairs. Mr McCabe’s previous roles include senior communications positions at Landsec plc, Boots and Railtrack. Mr McCabe will join the Royal Household in March.”
McCabe joins Buckingham Palace’s communications team after the negative PR involving the Duke of Edinburgh’s car crash. The duke voluntarily surrendered his driving license earlier this month, but the management of the incident by the palace’s communications staff has been widely criticised.
With experience managing crisis communications for Ladbrokes, it seems McCabe is well-equipped to deal with future incidents.
His predecessors Ms Osman and Mr Kingstone were wrongly reported as departing The Queen’s employment due to the incidents surrounding Thomas Markle leading up to the May 2018 royal wedding. The Daily Mail issued a correction reading:
“On 10th July 2018, we published an article with the headline ‘Queen’s two most senior PR chiefs to leave after Thomas Markle debacle sent Royal Family’s media machine into an embarrassing tailspin’. Sally Osman and Steve Kingstone have confirmed that their individual and independent departures predated and were unrelated to, any media engagement with Mr Markle. We accept their respective positions, and apologise for any misunderstanding or embarrassment.”
Ms Osman was invested with the Insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order by The Queen in December 2018. She served as Director of Royal Communications for four years and previously worked as the communications secretary to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
Mr Kingstone, a former BBC journalist, was appointed as The Queen’s Media Secretary in 2016 and left Buckingham Palace to become Communications Director for Oxfam GB.