Royals for rent


In the week that Harry, Duke of Sussex, gave up his royal title for the chance to make money independently, Queen Elizabeth’s oldest grandchild has been earning a crust of his own in China. Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne, is starring in adverts about a milk brand called Jersey Cattle, sold by state-owned Bright Dairy.

Phillips has never served as a working member of the royal family, which makes his situation different to his cousin Harry’s. However, it’s still clear that the milk ads are relying heavily on his regal roots, describing him as ‘British Royal Family member Peter’ and playing up the connotations of royalty whenever it can.

“I love to drink Jersey Milk,” the 42 year-old explains, grabbing a glass of it from a butler – the Daily Mail points out there’s another reminder of royalty with the appearance in the ad of the kind of coach and horses that carries the Queen on formal occasions. Cows then chew the cud in an implausibly Alpine-looking meadow, with the caption ‘The royal estate of Britain – Jersey Island’ and there are pictures of a hugely grand house – although it’s actually Longleat, a stately home in Wiltshire, rather than Buckingham Palace.

The next day there were more revelations that Lady Kitty Spencer – another of Harry’s cousins, this time through the family of his mother, Princess Diana – is promoting another brand of Jersey milk from a rival Chinese firm. “The day of the Royal Family usually begins with a cup of milk or a cup of tea,” she explained to Chinese journalists at a photoshoot.

The campaigns show that – ultimately – it’s the royal persona that attracts the advertisers. Maybe that’s a lesson for Harry as he puts distance between himself and the House of Windsor. Or perhaps it’s a signal that he needs to get an agent in China…

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