Jonathan Crowe stood on the sidewalk along Buckingham Palace Road, staring at the security entrance for the palace. He glanced at his watch. He was 10 minutes early for his interview with Jay Lanham, head of communications for Buckingham Palace who, at only 30, was already becoming legendary in UK public relations and media circles. Lanham was the communications man for King Michael and had successfully fended off a series of almost brutal public attacks on the king.
Lanham, and the king, were looking for a speechwriter.
Jonathan was 26 and a reporter at The Guardian. He was five foot ten, with closely cropped hair, a slight beard, and a medium-dark complexion. The only person he had ever written a speech for was himself, and that was for presentations he had made at university. But Lanham had seen Jonathan’s newspaper stories, and had read dozens of them, in fact. During the initial phone interview, Jonathan had been impressed with just how well Lanham had read his stories. Lanham also knew a considerable amount of Jonathan’s background, including his family’s Jamaican heritage, where his parents worked, that he still lived with his parents (a reporter’s salary alone wasn’t sufficient for almost anything in London), and that he attended St. Paul’s Church in Brixton.
Lanham had both reassured him and slightly alarmed him when he said that palace security had already done background checks.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Dancing Priest.
Photograph: A front gate at Buckingham Palace.