A PRCA survey of 134 consultancy MDs and heads of in-house teams has revealed that 43% believe the story has negatively affected Prince Harry’s reputation, with only 15% believing it had a positive impact.
However two-thirds of panellists (67%) agreed that the wider Royal Family’s reputation remains unaffected.
The issue is being handled by the Clarence House press office, led by press secretary Patrick Harrison, as it is understood that press secretary Miguel Head is currently on annual leave. Harrison is being supported by press officer Nick Loughran.
The Clarence House press office has been handling the major international story by issuing just two on-the-record statements supported by off-the-record ‘guidance’ over the phone.
A statement has been issued this morning after The Sun made the decision to print the photos, stating: ‘We have made our views on Prince Harry's privacy known. Newspapers regulate themselves, so it is ultimately a decision for editors to make.’
Clarence House has also stated that the suggestion in this morning's The Daily Mirror that Prince Charles has ‘laid into’ his son over the photos is ‘pure speculation’ and nothing that has come from the press office.
64% of PR industry heads believe that the Royal Family had a right to privacy by attempting to prevent publication of the photos.
Francis Ingham, PRCA chief executive, said: ‘The Royal Family has worked hard to cultivate its reputation since the death of Diana. Despite its explosiveness it is unlikely to trump the positive impact the Royal Wedding, Jubilee, and to a lesser extent, Olympics, has had on their image.'