Hacks get a royal handbagging from princes over sandbags

Hacks get a royal handbagging from princes over sandbags
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Prince Harry’s disdain for the media is well documented; but it was William who got grumpy today, telling Guardian journalist Robert Booth: ‘Why don't you put your notebook down and give us a hand with the sandbags?’ Booth offered to help:

‘But when your reporter agreed to help, aides stepped in and said it would not be possible due to a lack of the right sort of clothing.’

Typical health and safety mumbo jumbo, etcetera.

The royal PR operation is a slick machine these days. Opportunities are rarely missed, which is why the princes were up bright and early this morning to get in on the action. William and Harry, and the Duchess of Cambridge, have used the media carefully to cultivate their distinctive and highly successful brand; so it’s always noteworthy when tempers flare.

Mr S has some sympathy with the ITN cameraman Jason Farrington:

‘Not sure why sandbag delivering Princes William and Harry have been so bad tempered with reporters and cameramen today. Without those crews "throwing their cameras about" and filming it, William and Harry probably wouldn't even know the floods had happened.’

Then again, many flood victims are sick death of ‘flood tourists’. It won’t have done the princes any harm to have a pop at the media in public. What was I saying about rarely missed opportunities?

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

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