Prince Charles to Hit the Commercial Circuit?

By: Neil Sean, CBS News, London Entertainment Reporter
By: Neil Sean, CBS News, London Entertainment Reporter

LONDON -- Britain's Prince Charles normally sees the world all in green; organic green, of course.

But the future King of England's line of organic food stuffs, the "Duchy of Cornwall" brand, has hit hard times, leading the royals to weigh some pretty unusual measures.

You would think this is a project with "success" written all over it; soups and sausages snacks carrying not only a royal endorsement, but grown on the Prince's own organic farm. But the recession is showing that the royal family may not have quite the business savvy they hoped.

Despite the brand being sold in major stores around the world, and at some airports, plus a thriving development online, it's in trouble.

There are reports that one of Britain's major supermarket chains might launch a bid to gain total control of the prince's brand.

When first launched in 1990, Duchy Originals was deemed yet another crazy idea from the green-fingered prince, but it proved to be a huge success. Until, that is, the bottom fell out of the organic food market as recession-hit shoppers opted instead for standard-issue goods.

Prince Charles was dealt a further blow by a medial report published last week, claiming organic food offered no more nutrients than non-organic fruit and veg.

Prince Harry, Charles' son, made himself an ambassador of the family's brand on a recent visit to New York, handing out samples of Duchy products to his guests at a party as a way of introducing the brand to the U.S. market.

Prince Harry and William always make sure they are served the organic biscuits on every major visit they attend, with both loyally revealing they "love the products".

The young princes' efforts seem to be insufficient. Ideas for a total rebranding are in the mix, and even more extreme, there are rumors that Prince Charles himself could even star in a new series of ads for his farmed goods.

The idea was met with bemusement from those close to the future king, but as one source tells me, "he started the brand, and lets face it, people do know him for it… you have to sell direct to your market."


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