When Is ‘Royal’ Not Royal?

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Short answer: when the Queen of England says so.

“Harry and Meghan”(TM), the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with Harry sixth in line for the throne, have been told in no uncertain terms that they can’t go around selling stuff using “Sussex Royal” as a brand name (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8030241/Prince-Harry-Meghan-Markle-stop-using-Sussex-Royal-brand-territory-spring.html). They bailed out on being working members of the royal family and went west to become celebrities.

They’re kind of cheesed off about not being allowed to use the royal family as a sales gimmick. “The queen doesn’t own the word ‘Royal,'” they proclaimed on their website. Even so, just to be nice guys, the Duke & Duchess will voluntarily stop using the “Sussex Royal” brand… which they had already mobilized to sell clothing, stationery, and bandanas.

You can see how this could get out of hand. Next thing you know, you’ve got Sussex Royal fish sticks, cat toys, video games, and borscht. “They simply cannot be allowed to market themselves as royals,” is the word from Buckingham Palace.

Although Harry and Meghan(TM) have left their duties as members of the British royal family, the UK and Canada will split the tab for their security–three to six million Pounds per year. Oh, well, it’s all public money… grows on trees, you know.

Just out of curiosity, what would happen if Harry & Meghan(TM) flatly refused to stop selling stuff as Sussex Royal? Ka-boom? Sleep with the fishes? They don’t seem to be in any hurry to find out.

Stay tuned for the Harry & Meghan(TM) hair-restoring tonic.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

12 responses to “When Is ‘Royal’ Not Royal?

  • Erlene Talbott

    I find all this “royals” business so tiring. Who cares about all that nonsense.? All the publicity of the “royals, the Majesty, etc” was the reason Pastor Jack Hayford wrote the song “Majesty” to honor the only ONE who deserves the title.

    Like

  • unknowable2

    This isn’t the first time someone has abdicated a royal position, but I think it’s a sign of our diseased times that their motive seems to be abdication in order to capitalize upon celebrity.

    Before the mid nineteenth century, it would be quite plausible that the average person would not even know what a monarch, president, etc. looked like. It was only when newspapers were able to include pictures, that the average person would have access to such images. This makes the images of presidents on currency take on a much different significance.

    But let’s flash forward to 1981, and the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana. That was a media event and throughout the free world, the pageantry of the wedding was available to virtually everyone. Diana proved to be exceptionally photogenic and that only compounded matters. I don’t recall the British royal family being part of pop culture before that wedding, but they certainly were thereafter, and that’s what I find objectionable in all of this.

    I truly pity Diana, because she was unable to exist without being followed and hounded, everywhere she went. It was like Beatlemania and she hadn’t even written any catchy songs. It struck me as very unfair to her, her children and even to the monarchy itself.

    It is an interesting product of our media-driven times that celebrity seems to exist for its own sake. I won’t contribute to the phenomenon by mentioning any names, but I’m sure everyone reading this can think of examples where someone’s major claim to fame is fame itself. There are leaks and the occasional release of photos, all which serve to stoke the fires and lead to even more fame. Yet the person involved hasn’t really done much of anything.

    In the final analysis, this is idolatry. People want to elevate others to a position above themselves and use this as a way to vicariously escape the mundane concerns that all people face. Fame has become synonymous with wealth and it is believed that fame and wealth solve all problems. It’s a false assumption; the rich and famous may have fewer concerns about material necessities, but they pay a dear price for this and still experience many of the same problems the rest of us have. The wealthiest person alive is no more immune to the common cold than anyone else. Wealthy people experience loneliness, rejection, romantic failures and all of the other heartaches in life that the rest of us do. Idolizing the rich and famous is nothing but folly.

    It would appear that Harry and Meghan want in on the rich & famous racket and to really cash in, they have to leave their official duties in the royal family. Now that he is no longer a royal, I can be a bit more blunt. Harry: you’re mother died and early death because everywhere she went, she had to flee from photographers and hangers-on. Now you are embracing that same sort of life. Be careful what you wish for, son; you will almost certainly come to regret this course of action with great bitterness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leeduigon

      A recent poll of high school students found that a majority of them had, as a life goal, becoming “famous.” Famous for what, hardly any of them could say. Jesu defend us.

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      • unknowable2

        It’s truly a terrible thing. Fame is a burden of immense proportion in any circumstance, but when it is fame for the sake of fame, it’s even worse. I don’t like being recognized, unless it’s by people I know fairly well. Even at that, I prefer greatly that I be left alone and allowed to mind my own business. For truly famous people, this is never an option.

        The obsession with fame is a product of our age. Fame has existed for a long time, but as communication has improved, so has the access to fame. Do you think that the average ancient Egyptian would have ever heard the pharaoh speak? Almost certainly not. In the past, fame was much different. The average person had no window into the life of someone famous and only a very few were ever allowed access to the lives of anyone truly famous. What I find puzzling is that the mystique of fame has increased in our age of communication. I would expect the opposite.

        Andy Warhol nailed it when he said that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. That is much less of an exaggeration than I would have ever expected. How many names have come into the public consciousness only to disappear again in a matter of weeks or months?

        Tom Wolfe touched upon this in The Right Stuff. The Mercury astronauts were famous, even before they flew, yet the test pilots at Edwards AFB were unknown, even though they were flying rocket planes, breaking records and even venturing into space (above 100 kilometers altitude). “Nobody knew their names”, to quite Wolfe, yet their activities were every bit as significant as those of the Mercury astronauts.

        Then the Beatles came along and the entire free world knew John, Paul, George and Ringo. They made some great music, but it was their fame which took them to the next level. Every new album was an event. They took questions from the press and they shaped opinions by their very word. Their fame outgrew their music.

        Since then, fame has become a cultural obsession. People crave fame, apparently forgetting that fame frequently imprisons it’s subjects. I recall seeing a photo of Brittany Spears coming out of a convenience store carrying snacks for her children. People were discussing the appropriateness of what she had bought and commenting upon her appearance. Who would want to live under such scrutiny? If I decide to traipse over time the local convenience store, I’m not required to justify my purchases; why should a singer be held to a different standard?

        Fame can be leveraged into wealth; that has been true for some time now. But fame carries a mighty burden along with it and I doubt that any wealth which accompanies fame could ever offset that burden.

        Liked by 1 person

  • thewhiterabbit2016

    Ronald Reagan said a whole lot more could be achieved if people were not concerned with who got the credit.

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