OPINION: Queen Mum's 'no interviews' rule was PR success

The Queen Mother was the best PR asset the Royal Family had. Personally, I would abolish the Monarchy but that does not stop me admiring how they manage their PR.

The Queen Mum was one of those few people in public life who didn't need a spin doctor or PR guru to help them out.

It was back in World War II that the Queen Mum came up with her first-ever PR coup. Her family was told by the people who tell you these things to leave London for their own safety. She realised that since most Londoners had no option but to stay and face the Blitz, it may be good PR if her own family did the same.

How many times has the fact that the Royals stood shoulder to shoulder with their subjects during the War been mentioned since? This was one of the best publicity stunts of all time. Never mind the fact that it is impossible to find out even today how many days they actually stayed in London - that's classified information.

The Queen Mum's next great PR coup was to invent the Royal walkabout. For the first time in history the Royal Family actually mixed with ordinary folk. And, of course, the Royals ensured it was all caught on camera.

The Queen Mum had certainly learnt a lot since the days of her wedding.

She and her husband refused to allow the BBC to record the happy day for radio because they thought that 'ordinary folk' might listen in and laugh.

The old gal would no doubt be laughing in her grave at the Daily Mail attack on the BBC for not letting their newsreader wear a black tie when announcing her death. It seems that, for the first time in its history, the BBC has ignored a royal command.

The most incredible thing about the Queen Mum is the fact that here was one of the most famous women in the world and we actually don't know anything about her.

I remember once talking to Sarah Brown, Chancellor Gordon Brown's wife, who knows a thing or to about PR.

We were discussing when she should do her first interview and who to do it with. I suggested that perhaps, unlike Cherie Blair, it may be better not to do any interviews and joked that it hadn't done the Queen Mum any harm. It was only then that I seriously thought that it had been a brilliant strategy.

For all we know, the Queen Mum may have been an unpleasant character who spent most of her time privately attacking the Government and referring to Prince Philip as 'The Hun'. Then again, she may have been the most decent person ever to have lived. We simply don't know.

This has meant that the Queen Mum has enjoyed an exceptionally good press, although it's true that the older she got the more we all liked her.

The Royal Family will miss her more than they realise. Already we have seen a fairly subdued public reaction to the Queen Mum's death, probably because people have grown tired of this rather dysfunctional family. Watching Prince Charles talking about his grandmother only sought to remind us that our next King is a complete wally who cheated on the one Royal we knew all about but still liked.

Despite all her best efforts and the efforts of the Royal Family, such as delaying the funeral until next week, the passing away of the Queen Mum has still been nothing compared to the demise of the other royal master of PR, Princess Diana.

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