Ever since Prince William married Kate Middleton a notable change in his personality has suddenly surfaced.
Conversely, his in-laws have blossomed, extended their commercial activities and become the new uncrowned royalty where their every move is chronicled by the press and their sphere of influence has mushroomed beyond anybody’s expectations. They are seasoned players in grabbing whatever opportunities their link to the royal family provides and have so far managed to enhance their standing in a society clamouring for their friendship.
The Duke of Cambridge has since become a bit player, more docile and quite frankly less interesting. Most observers would come to the conclusion that his in-laws’ influence on him has not been beneficial.
The latest development, which is probably a Middleton-inspired move, concerns the establishment of Kate and Wills Inc. The Duke and Duchess have secretly set up firms to protect their brand and intellectual property rights, just like the Beckhams. In a move more associated with celebrities, they have asked lawyers to establish companies in each of their names. It will enable William and Kate to sell ‘officially-endorsed products’ and act against anyone selling items that could ‘harm their image’.
Kate’s firm is called CE Strathearn, from her names Catherine and Elizabeth, and the Countess of Strathearn – a title awarded by the Queen. William’s is APL Anglesey – after his middle names Arthur Philip Louis, and the Welsh island where he and Kate honeymooned after they married.
Prince Harry has followed suit, calling his company Tsessebe – the name of an African antelope.
Kensington Palace, whose wisdom I often challenge, stressed the firms would not be ‘regular trading arms’ and were likely to remain dormant for the foreseeable future. My immediate reaction is to say to the Palace, please do me a favour and tell it to the marines. Already aides admitted they could not rule out the firms being used for commercial purposes at some stage.
The future king should not heed the advice of these modernists or his in-laws, who want to turn the monarchy into a money-making machine. His dignity is far more important than the accumulation of wealth, and being his own man will endear him to the nation.