All posts by Krista VDB

Prince Harry in 2014 – Harry hits his stride with the Invictus Games

Call him the Royal Scamp, the Party Prince, or whatever title is on trend at the moment, but one thing is for certain, Prince Harry was crowned Hero this past September when his Invictus Games dream became a reality.

After attending the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs in 2013, Harry returned to the UK with what appeared to be a new sense of purpose. He assembled a team that would put together the Invictus Games – a sporting event that would bring together both active and veteran service men and women, from 14 nations, to compete in a number of different team and individual sports. What made these games different, was that the competitors were living with life altering injuries sustained while serving their countries. Harry, who has long been passionate about paying homage to those injured in the line of duty, was certain that in just 10 months, the first Invictus Games would come to fruition. While we all watched the Invictus story unfold, we saw Prince Harry grow into a mature and passionate advocate, leader and “proud dad” of not just the Games themselves, but the athletes that worked tirelessly to compete at a level of intensity that blew all of us away.

The inaugural Invictus Games were supported not just by Prince Harry, but by a slew of celebrities, and members of the Royal Family who flocked to events and watched from the stands. The Games were an unbelievable success, not just for Harry, but for all of the athletes that competed. Many spoke of how the Games gave them a new sense of purpose; the confidence to continue down a path that would see them realize a fulfilling life, post-injury. This was a true testament of the human spirit, a fire that was stoked in each athlete, and their families by sport, and by the dedication and passion exhibited by Prince Harry.

After the Invictus Games came to a close, Prince Charles was quoted as saying, “I’m incredibly proud of what my youngest son achieved at the Invictus Games. I hope he hears that.”

Regardless of what any of us think about Harry and his lifestyle, one thing is for certain, this is a young man that has a remarkable sense of conviction and a drive that is unwavering when it comes to a cause he’s passionate about. In 2014, we can say, that we all watched Prince Harry find his stride, before our eyes, with the Invictus Games.


Prince Harry in 2014 – Romance: Please, please PLEASE let there be a Scottish throw down

Nothing sparks a good headline quite like a royal romance. Now that William and Catherine are married, with kids and infinitely boring, we continue to watch the comings and goings of Harry’s female friends. 2014 saw Cressida Bonas come and go. And then (allegedly) come again go, again. In what appeared to be a bold statement, Cress walked the We Day carpet, presumably in support of not only her sort-of-sister in law (Holly Branson), but also her boyfriend, Prince Harry. Harry played a significant role in the event, delivering a speech about “giving back” to the more than 12,000 young people in attendance.

After returning to his seat, Cressida was photographed congratulating him with an affectionate embrace. Photos of the two of them graced the front pages and media from around the world predicted that an engagement was coming soon – camera shy Cressida had taken a big step on her journey toward life as a Royal by showing up at an official engagement to support her man. Only weeks later, it was reported that the two had broken up, supposedly over a row about Harry attending Guy Pelly’s wedding + related activities in Memphis, Tennessee. Cressida was papped numerous times over the next several months looking sullen and teary eyed. But then, just when we had all written this frail, fragile looking wee blonde off, BAM, Cress pulls a Kate Middleton. At least that’s what the media hypothesized – just like Kate had done after her highly publicized break up with William in 2007, Cress was living it up, single and ready to mingle. From sullen to smiley, Cress was creating a new story for us; one that saw her surrounded by girlfriends, breaking out some side boob, putting on lipstick – this girl was just fine.

Enter summer. Enter Camilla Thurlow.

We now know, if she was anything at all, she was a summer fling. After a little spit swapping at a club one night, we knew all about the Scottish beauty queen who once worked as a store clerk at Abercrombie + Fitch, and was now working for Harry’s mother’s charity, Halo Trust. By the end of August, the media had Harry and the brunette beauty shacked up on a yacht in St. Tropez and wedding bells were heard off in the distance.



By September, the wedding bells and kilt laden ceremony at Westminster Abby was off, because WHAMMO Cress was snapped at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games. And then again, with Harry at a movie.

Cressida, exit stage left. We haven’t seen the two of them together again since. Although it’s been reported that Harry has been snogging around and / or hooking up with randoms, nothing has really stuck.

So, the Harry and Cressida question still looms. Are they? Aren’t they? Who the hell knows. All I really know is that Cress has game. And we know Harry likes a good chase. If they are still together they are flying under the radar. In a huge way – Cressida has gone off to vocal training in Scotland and Harry is still in England. Maybe she’ll run into Cammie T and there’ll be a Scottish throw down, Highland Games style. One can only dream…

The problem with Harry’s “shameful” confession

The fear of public speaking. The queasy feeling some of us get when we walk into a room full of people and are expected to perform. To be “someone”. I get it. I do. I have a full blown, diagnosed anxiety disorder. And it was, at one time, debilitating. So much so that I was hopping myself up on prescribed drugs every day. At the time, I was working full time in Strategic Business Planning and Public Relations. I was expected to speak to rooms full of people, and if it wasn’t me speaking, I was writing the words others would say, and that’s a whole other kind of pressure. 

Nervousness and anxiety is no joke, and if HRH had legitimized his “fear” with a bit of meat, I’d likely applaud. But, how does nervousness and a fear of public speaking make you vulnerable and open to ridicule like those living with AIDS or HIV? Harry, how can you compare your shame to theirs? You can’t.

Here’s the thing, if Prince Harry had come forward with “I’ve had to speak to a therapist / need the support of medication / learn to use meditation and breath work to cope with it…” I’d probably give him a Hi5. There is a certain taboo related to those coping mechanisms. But is a fear of public speaking really all that taboo? Aside from being mildly charming, his secret does not demonstrate the aim of the campaign. In fact, it dilutes it. The headline is now about Harry’s fear of public speaking. The argument could be made that the purpose of the campaign would be diluted simply by virtue of his participation, but, and this is a significant but, had his secret had some serious shame associated with it, the headline may swing more toward Harry’s shame. And shame, is what the campaign is trying to address. The shame related to living with AIDS and HIV. It’s entry to the cause through a back door, but it’s an entry nonetheless. Fear of public speaking? No entry. Doors are locked. Barricades are up. In fact, someone find the Emergency Exit so this poor bloke can try to slip out without being egged.

I realize that revealing a devastating, deep, dark secret is not something that would ever be approved by The Firm and their PR team. However, pushing past the superficial would have gone a long way in demonstrating and cementing his passion for the purpose of the campaign and for the campaign, itself. The idea was, and IS, a great one. It’s unfortunate that the execution lacked foresight and appropriate message planning.


All aboard for the OMAN + UAE tour

Harry will soon be en route to Oman and the United Arab Emirates. While the Oman invitation was extended His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, their Royal Highnesses will likely not have the opportunity to shoot the shit over cocktails. Unfortunately, due to ill health, The Sultan has had to cancel his engagements with Prince Harry. Both parties are still keen for Harry to follow through on the visit, which will now likely be equal parts personal and official duty. After spending time in Oman, the white pants will break free and take to the polo field in Abu Dhabi for the Sentebale Polo Cup.

Harry’s “official” schedule is as follows, below. Unofficial shenanigans will likely be reported in due course. Continue reading

Lovers Lane meets Public Relations. Is the PR game influencing Harry’s happily ever after?

I feel sad for Prince Harry.

Now before you unleash fury on me, hear me out. Yes, he’s set to inherit a boatload of dolla bills from his mother’s estate. He lives in a palace, gorgeous women fawn over him wherever he goes, and well, shit, he’s a Prince, so there’s that… But, in reality, is the life of The Spare, really all it’s cracked up to be? We’ve heard him say, numerous times, that it ain’t all rainbows and unicorns, he’s even expressed how crappy it is to be single and searching for someone, famously saying, “The job that it entails…look at me, I’m 27 years old and not so much searching for someone to fulfill the role, but obviously finding someone that would be willing to take it on.” While Hot Harry has never been one to stay on message, this particular left turn about finding love, may give us a bit of insight into the PR Machine that is The Firm.
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