Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on 19 May, in what is set to be one of the most talked about and popular public events of 2018. Even if we don’t get an extra bank holiday, it’s definitely a cause for national celebration and I for one will be there in front of the TV, waving my union jack and craning my neck for a good look at the dress. It’s undeniable, though, that a royal wedding is a good excuse for a party and it’s a good excuse for a prize promotion, too.
Just after they announced their engagement, the Independent ran an amusing story on the sudden rush emails from PR executives eager to cash in on news. These included a rather wide-of-the-mark attempt to publicise ‘London’s premiere lap dancing club’ (let’s draw a veil over that one) and congratulations to be treasured from Aldi’s loved-up animated carrots. Naturally, no one in the promotional marketing industry would be quite so crass, but a royal wedding does present an opportunity which promoters can capitalise on thematically – in a seemly and suitably respectful way.
However, on this occasion, I do need to remind you that it is vital you stand on ceremony, because there are a few time-honoured traditions – well, they’re rules really – to be observed when taking a royal wedding as the inspiration for a promotion – and I don’t mean when to curtsy or how to address the happy couple.
The CAP Code states that members of the royal family should not be shown or mentioned in a marketing communication without their prior permission, and it seems reasonable to assume that at the moment Harry and Meghan will be too busy with the reception seating plan to respond to your request.
However, very general references to the forthcoming nuptials or expressions of good wishes for the future Mr and Mrs Windsor should be acceptable, as long as promotions don’t claim or imply affiliation with the royal wedding or that Harry, Meghan or any other member of the royal family has endorsed your product or service.
And if the excitement and hype get too much for you, there’s a nice, gentle piece in Vogue about royal weddings of the past and remember Harry and Meghan’s big day clashes with this year’s FA Cup Final, so there’s always that as an antidote to all the froth.
Sarah Burns quite partial to a royal wedding. She’s also Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist, and SCAMbassador for National Trading Standards Scams Team and member of the Fraud Women’s Network.