Camilla’s rise from villain to queen is a master class in image transformation that we can all learn from.
For decades, Camilla was vilified by the British media as the villain who broke up Charles’s marriage to Diana, the Princess of Wales. Her transformation would have been unthinkable in the years after Diana’s death. Many of the scandalous details may have faded over the last twenty-five years though they have been reintroduced in our collective memory by the popular Netflix series, “The Crown.”
Camilla’s rebrand wasn’t happenstance. It was achieved through calculated effort with the help of advisors, PR experts and image consultants. Rebranding involves positioning , image development, packaging, storyline, marketing messages, and PR, all aimed toward building and extending a person’s shelf life, just as in brand development.
So how did Camilla do it?
Camilla went dark for a while to clean the slate. Then she emerged with a spotlight on public service. Camilla’s focus was not on herself and parties or glamour but discretion and service. Camilla has a strong record of charitable causes, particularly in the medical and health care arenas, like her work supporting victims of osteoporosis, the illness that plagued her mother.
And Camilla’s rebranding campaign has paid off.
Now even if people may not like aspects of her role in the breakup of Charles and Diana, they are accepting of it, according Professor Purcell, a professor of modern British history at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. She’s just done a great job at hanging in there and trying not to make missteps.”
She’s more popular than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle among the British public.
And her rebrand was assisted by the endorsement of Queen Elizabeth who made known her wish that Camilla become queen consort when Charles ascended the throne.
Branding is all about perceptions and taking control of the narrative, as I outline in my new book, “The New Brand You.” Whatever the state your personal brand, realize that you too can transform perceptions and the narrative others have about you.