In the midst of the global pandemic and all its thunderous noise, came the highly controversial upset of the interview of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Meghan Markle and Prince Harry) with Oprah Winfrey. The interview garnered a lot of attention – and opinions. Members of the public and media spoke out about how they felt, their take on what was going on, and what thought was appropriate or not. In the grand scheme of things, the Duke and the Duchess as individuals were entitled to make their own choices. No matter how we may feel about a person’s actions, when we are not a part of their experiences or in their family, we are merely on the outside looking in –and perceptions may differ depending on which angle you are looking in from. In this case in point, many were looking in from a judgemental vantage point. And the conflict in this family business can be viewed as a cautionary tale.
You may be wondering what this has to do with a family office or family business.
Well, it starts by being centered on family. The Royal family is probably one of the longest-standing family businesses in the world. It has had a family office for over a thousand years and it is in its umpteenth generation, and the pressure for the next generation to take the mantle is obvious. Being a multi-generational business, it has a myriad of family members and traditions it hopes to uphold going into the next generation. So it goes without saying that this family business is familiar with conflict.