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Charles III: Maverick, marketer, monarch

Detail from the Royal Mint of new official coins
Detail from the Royal Mint of new official coins

A purpose-led, people-driven, taboo-tackling, headline-hitting sovereign.

Long a maverick who spoke out against "ugly" modern architecture and campaigned in favour of youth and environmental causes, the then-Prince of Wales first came to many people's attention as a 21-year-old in the extraordinary 'Royal Family' documentary of 1969.

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Detail from ´Royal Family´ documentary

Military model

The young Charles subsequently served in the Navy after training as both a jet and helicopter pilot. His penchant for purposeful action next manifested itself as founder of the Prince's Trust, set up in 1976 - when the now-king was still in his twenties - to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK. At the time, Britain was in the grip of record unemployment and spiralling inflation. 


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Fast-forwarding to 2022, with the long tail of Covid still lashing, the Trust put out this campaign in the form of an inspirational graduation speech.

It acknowledges the impact of Covid on young people, celebrates their achievement in coming through it, and encourages them moving forward.

"Isolation was your classroom, resilience was your homework"

Though Charles - who became the first British royal to be educated outside a palace when he went to boarding-school at the age of 10 - was by this time in his seventies, the message is one he will no doubt have related to.

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During Covid, Charles backed the 'Pick For Britain' campaign, which tackled a shortfall in seasonal fruit and vegetable pickers, with his own message.

Again, it urged action, reminding us that 'Food doesn't happen by magic'.


Charles regularly hit the headlines during and after his marriage to the late Princess Diana, often involving the persistent taboo of infidelity, even as the pair also tackled taboos via their charity work and public engagements.

While the role of maverick appears in some ways to have passed to their younger son Harry, the current heir to the throne Prince William is ably assisted by his wife Catherine in continuing the smooth marketing of the royal brand.

 On the death of his mother, Charles said:

"It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.”

Ah, trust

The king was expected to step back from the causes for which he used to be a powerful fund-raiser, partly to keep in line with his royal position and partly to divest himself from any personal involvement in organisations which may be or come under investigation. 

Man of action

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For many, it came as a surprise to find Charles aligning himself with the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2019, he launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Insurance Task Force in collaboration with the WEF, an unelected body which is increasingly criticised and mistrusted for its globalist approach.

Is King Charles a good ad, and for what?

The king represents his people and can in theory dissolve Parliament.

The socio-political landscape is shifting fast, and Britain's former action prince has been a maverick longer than he has been a monarch.... Might there still be surprises in store as the pendulum of history swings?


Posted by Tree Elven on 18/05/2023

Keywords: King Charles advertising and branding, British monarchy as a brand, King Charles and WEF

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