Sunday, 12 September 2010

Waitrose and Duchy Originals: touching one's forelock

A year ago, Waitrose bailed out the Duke of Cornwall's firm, Duchy Originals. They pumped in money to expand the range and got exclusive dealing rights.

A year on, it's hard to avoid Duchy Originals on Waitrose shelves. They've got everything covered, except maybe tampons (I must check).

Buy one from the range and a donation to the Prince's Charities is built into the price.

Britain's hereditary aristocracy is remarkably resilient. It survived the first world war without being put up against the wall and shot, as it should have been.

It did well in the second world war. The pro-Nazi Duke of Windsor (the ex - King Edward VIII) did not go to prison for his politics, but was merely sent off to govern one of the colonies. The potential Quisling King was simply removed to a safe distance from the Battle of Britain. Steered by Churchill, King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother did a good job helping maintain morale. They had a good war.

Now we sleep walk towards another King Edward VII, as Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall, waits in the queue for the old Queen to die and give him a few years at the top.

Meanwhile, I can't shop in Waitrose without contributing to his charities. I am sure some of them are jolly good things. But Waitrose is a decent organisation, a progressive employer. I would much rather that there were Waitrose charities and that I paid my pennies into those. There is something demeaning about having to cough for Prince Charles.

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