Oh, what’s that? The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge have trademarks too?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the London Bridge Jobcentre

One of the most asinine parts of the excerpts from Robert Lacey’s Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult was the section devoted to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex trademarking their names and titles for all things. This was a big deal when it happened and it was stupid back then too. When Harry and Meghan began their “Sussex Royal” branding on social media, they obviously got trademarks for everything else. And the British media, as is their habit, turned the whole thing into a weeks-long psychodrama where clearly Meghan was going to use the sacred Sussex title to shill Goop-like wellness tchotchkes. Except that everyone ignored the simple fact that William and Kate did similar trademarks around their Cambridge titles and names too. It’s simple trademark law: you trademark all things so no one else will start flogging “Kensington Royal” or “Sussex Royal” merchandise. Well, guess what?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have taken control of two companies which were formed to protect their ‘brand’ and intellectual property rights. Prince William and Kate, both 38, became the registered persons with significant control and therefore the beneficial owners this week of the limited companies called APL Anglesey and CE Strathearn, which were set up in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

The firms, set up in each of their names, enable the couple to sell officially-endorsed products and take action against anyone selling items that could harm their image. Previously the shareholders were trusted royal aides who represented the interests of the couple and this is the first time that Prince William and Kate have been registered as owners of businesses with a potential commercial role. The companies have never traded and have always filed dormant company accounts, although their existence means they could be called upon to carry out work for them in the future.

The move reflects speculation that William is gradually growing into his role as a future monarch and exerting greater hands-on control over his financial and personal affairs. Companies House records – which were updated today – do not specify if the couple are shareholders of APL Anglesey or CE Stathearn, but specify that they each have ‘significant influence or control’ over their respective companies. APL Anglesey was set up to represent Prince William’s interests in October 2012, taking its title from the initials of his middle names Arthur Philip Louis and the Welsh island where he and Kate lived after they were married.

Kate’s company CE Strathearn was formed in November 2013, using the initials of her names Catherine Elizabeth and her Scottish title of Countess of Strathearn, awarded by the Queen.

The formation of the companies made headlines at the time with commentators suggesting that it was a move more often associated with celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham. Paperwork was filed at Companies House this week confirming that Clara Pearce, the assistant treasurer to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, had stepped down from her role as shareholder at both companies.

Prince Harry also had a dormant company called Tsessebe – the name of an African antelope set up in October 2012.

Kensington Palace has been approached for comment about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s takeover of their companies. Royal sources previously described the formation of the companies as a ‘sensible thing’ to protect the couple’s rights, saying the firms would only be used on special occasions and any money raised would go to charity.

[From The Daily Mail]

I don’t even have to say it, right? I don’t have to say “imagine how this would be covered if it was Meghan and Harry.” Because we already saw that sh-t in real time AND Lacey was still bitterly complaining about it, or making it sound like palace courtiers were still bitterly complaining about it. This is just basic, entry-level. run-of-the-mill legal/business/trademark maintenance, it’s not “preparing to be king” sh-t. Of course William and Kate trademarked everything too. A fact that everyone conveniently forgot when it came to the Sussexes. And obviously, it’s not like Will and Kate are suddenly going to start selling Cambridge tchotchkes either.

Commission Mcc0093447 RoyAL ROTA BRADFORD

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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33 Responses to “Oh, what’s that? The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge have trademarks too?”

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  1. Harla says:

    Wow, Kate always looks so bound up and tense when she’s sitting down to talk to people. And I’m sorry but her posture is atrocious.

    • Edna says:

      They both always look so tense and uptight. Jaws locked with clinched teeth. I guess it’s supposed to be their “serious, I’m so interested look” but they come off looking constipated.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Kate looks extra nervous when William is around. I suspect he’s judging her and finding her lacking (and that she knows it).

  2. Mika says:

    Abolish the Monarchy.

    That is all.

  3. Kalana says:

    Kate and William are merching and trading on the royal name to uh… promote Netflix? They can’t have a private income and also be royals. That part was true, right? Oh, it wasn’t? Huh.

    But I’m sure neither Kate or William have worn dark nail polish so they’re still in the clear. And look at that red granny dress on Kate. Now that’s #trueroyalty.

    • Daisy Mai says:

      According to records both Will’s and Kate’s companies are non-trading companies according to the records. That means that they don’t sell anything. I wonder what they use these companies for?

  4. ABritGuest says:

    It’s funny as last year & even now Harry& Meghan registering trademarks was MEGHAN trying to ‘monetise the royal brand’, & the RRs claimed that they wanted to do commercial activities which Cambridges would be ‘restricted’ from doing because of their future roles (laughs in Prince Charles). Suddenly now Cambridges doing such arrangements is William preparing to be king. Interesting how that works.

    I do think the Cambridges are gearing up to do more fundraising events which may involve commercial activities for their royal foundation like what Charles does with the Princes Trust. And the media will be totally fine with it showing another case of faux controversy where Sussexes were concerned.

    • lanne says:

      once again, it’s all about the fact that they hate that Meghan is a member of the RF. All this protocol BS and double standards are proof of this. I’m thinking that in terms of honest discussions about race, the Uk is a good generation behind the US. All of the dog whistles that sre so blatantly obvious to North Americans are only now starting to be questioned in the UK.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      Doesn’t Charles have an entire food line called something like the Duchy of Cornwall?

      • Sadiebelle says:

        He does. And their biscuits are excellent. I believe that’s one way he funds his charities, but I could be wrong.

      • Shirley Gail says:

        His aged white cheddar cheese is the best I’ve ever tasted, beyond delicious, it’s the kind of cheese you hold in your mouth just to be sure you’ve caught the full flavour. SO GOOD

  5. Amy Bee says:

    This is just lame. The Royals have always trademarked things to protect their names, and it’s not the first time that William and Kate have done this. They’ve done it for the royal foundation so the attacks on the Harry and Meghan were unwarranted and malicious. The Palace could have put out a statement defending them when the press was on the attack but they chose to do nothing. It’s another example of the Palace not protecting Harry and Meghan.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yup. This is the kind of story the palace 100% could have and should have pushed back on. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have filed trademarks to protect their brand, which is consistent with actions taken by other senior royals.” Full stop.

      The more they allowed those kinds of stories to go on unchecked, the more the press felt emboldened to continue with the smear campaign.

      AND that story did lasting damage to Meghan’s reputation for many – she was all about “marching,” trying to make money off the royal brand, she was a gold digger, etc. we still see the results of that today in terms of how people perceive her. The palace should have shut it down immediately and chose not to do so.

    • Daisy Mai says:

      Will and Kate’s companies don’t trade anything. That means they don’t sell anything. I wonder what these companies are there for? I guess these companies are merely set up so that nobody can use Will’s or Kate’s names to sell cookies and stuff. Will’s or Kate’s public engagements can’t be used by other parties either, I guess. Also Kate and Will didn’t put a trademark on merchandise which was done by Meghan and Harry who apparently want to sell royally enobled merchandise crap? Why else put a trademark on such tad? Did they intend to go down the Middleton road and sell party pieces decorated with something royal?

  6. Mac says:

    I would imagine every single royal has trademarked their name. They need to protect their image and identity.

  7. S808 says:

    Glad Meghan and Harry are free from these people and their bullshit. Looking forward to Archewell merch.

  8. Abena Asantewaa says:

    The deliberate , malicious hypocrisy, is baffling! It is so bloody obvious! Does the press hate Harry and Meghan, especially; Meghan, so much that jn their criticisms they convieniently forget about their double standards? Harry knows it, that is why he fled from this evil machinations.

  9. Myra says:

    It’s racism pure and simple. One standard, one rule, was applied to Meghan that has never been applied to other white royals. Everyone who participated in this were racist. I believe they knew what they were doing was wrong but any stick to beat Meghan with was a good one for them. It’s why I use Meghan as my racism barometer. The moment a person says they don’t like her, I know not to waste my time with a racist.

  10. What’s eating you says:

    I guess it’s only bad when the black royal does it, like everything else.

  11. Lizzie says:

    Nothing in the tabloids is meaningful. They will blame H&M for a cloudy day to get clicks.

  12. RoyalBlue says:

    They are just upset that the Sussexes did it first. The Cambridges wanted the Sussexes to feed them the ideas, so the Cambridges could do these great ventures first. Then the Sussexes could follow after. The idea was that William was so accustomed to being given the first pick of everything in life, that he came to expect that his adult brother would follow suit. His brother’s role was to support him in being king and his proactive behavior and projects did not work by the playbook.

  13. Sofia says:

    It’s one rule for the Sussexes, and another rule for everyone else. Everyone else in the BRF has trademarked their names/titles for obvious purposes (making sure no-one makes money off their name). The Cambridges have even trademarked their kids’ name IIRC – nothing shady about that but just examples of how they all do it.

  14. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    So when are William and Kate going to lose the right to use the “HRH” title because of this? Anyone?

    If the royal family won’t do it (and they won’t), it’s long past time for the public to get rid of this ridiculous, outdated, institution. Does anyone really think God selected these nitwits to rule?

  15. jessiemarie424 says:

    Maybe the difference is the Cambridges discussed and communicated their trademark plans and the Sussexes didn’t. The royal family seems to be big on asking permission for things you normally shouldn’t have to in normal life. Asking for permission to marry comes to mind.

    • ABritGuest says:

      Trademarks would be something their lawyers would advise on for protection. Do you really think every time a royal is launching a project like eg 5 Big Questions which might have marked registered to a certain royal, somebody is running to the Queen/her PS to ask if that’s ok?

      I would assume that’s something their legal teams would always handle & doubt it’s something royals get too involved with especially as you need to move quickly usually with IP registration.

      And to Jessie Marie’s point- most IP lawyers would apply for marks against every category of product/service etc as the point is to deter people from launching a product/service trading off the goodwill a royal may have built in a name eg Heads Together. So no indication that SussexRoyal marks registrations were linked to wanting to make royal merchandise although the Firm is certainly an expert in the area of royal branded merch, recently launching their own BP gin.

      And certainly if the Firm did have a committee like that in place re trademarks then puts paid to the suggestion that the Sussexes couldn’t do p/t because a committee would need to be formed to have oversight of their commercial activities.

    • Mir says:

      So You were physically present in the room when the Cambs asked for permission and also with the Sussexes when they didn’task for permission?? These assumptions about their intentions and ready belief of tabloid lies are the reason Meghans reputation was hit. The saintly Cambs versus the stubborn Sussexes.

    • Mir says:

      So You were physically present in the room when the Cambs asked for permission and also with the Sussexes when they didn’task for permission?? These assumptions about their intentions and ready belief of tabloid lies are the reason Meghans reputation was hit. The saintly Cambs versus the stubborn Sussexes.

    • Nic919 says:

      Hahaha. Bad trolling. There is no difference. Getting a trademark to protect the use of a name is the same whether it is for a white duchess or a biracial one. Your racism is showing.

  16. Badgerette86 says:

    Clara Pearce- who is listed as a director on these 3 cos, also is listed on a 4th- that this article makes no mention of? Tyrolese (743) ltd. another “charitable” org running out of Clarence House…but no mention of any beneficiary- which seemed odd.

  17. Mariane says:

    Well who’s suprised to see this. We knew they had trademarked for Royal Foundation which included things like books,merchandise..etc and yet the gutter press had a problem with the black duchess doing the same