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Home News Stories Ex-employee of Prince Charles in trademark fight with the Queen's officials

Ex-employee of Prince Charles in trademark fight with the Queen’s officials

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One of Prince Charles‘ former employees is in a legal fight with the Palace over using the name The Royal Butler.

Grant Harrold, who was an ‘under-butler’ at Highgrove from 2004 to 2011, gives lessons in etiquette and appears on television.

But he has angered the Queen’s officials after trying to trademark The Royal Butler and using a golden crest. 

Jamie Muir Wood, representing the Queen’s lawyers Farrer & Co, told an Intellectual Property Office hearing the claim misleads people into believing Mr Harrold, 42, is educating butlers on behalf of the Royal Household. 

Mr Harrold’s website also includes images of himself next to a waxwork of the Queen at Madame Tussauds. A decision is expected in weeks.

In 2012 Charles agreed an out-of-court settlement after Mr Harrold, pictured, claimed he was bullied and compared to killer Raoul Moat by staff before being unfairly dismissed from Highgrove.   

Grant Harrold, who was an 'under-butler' at Highgrove from 2004 to 2011, gives lessons in etiquette and appears on television

Grant Harrold, who was an ‘under-butler’ at Highgrove from 2004 to 2011, gives lessons in etiquette and appears on television 

The move to clamp down on Mr Harrold’s business venture comes just months after the Queen refused permission for her grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, to pursue commercial careers alongside official royal duties and to market themselves as ‘Sussex Royal’.

The Queen is governed by several pieces of legislation, including the Trade Marks Act 1994, which strictly control any attempt to trade on royal connections.

Although Mr Harrold has marketed himself as the The Royal Butler for several years, giving lessons in etiquette and regularly appearing on television, matters came to a head when he tried to trademark the the name.

Mr Muir Wood told an Intellectual Property office hearing on July 21: ‘We say it is possible that members of the public would believe he is educating butlers on behalf of The Queen at his Royal Butler School, that he was appearing in the media as her representative, as a representative of the household of her Royal Family.

‘So by using this device with the heraldic elements which whilst those schooled in royal matters will know is not an official coat of arms members of the public might believe this is the insignia of some official member of the Royal household thereby assuming that when he uses this device to provide education services or entertainment services that he is doing so it in some capacity where he is employed by Her Majesty The Queen as the royal butler.’   

The monarch’s representatives also dismissed Mr Harrold’s business partner, Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, the grand niece of Prince Philip, as not being a ‘proper member of the Royal Family’.

Mr Muir Wood said: ‘He implies that the Royal household of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales gave consent but the Prince of Wales is not entitled to give that consent, could not give that consent.

‘The Royal Names team within the constitutional policy team at the Cabinet Office can give businesses permission to use the word ”royal”…

‘It is clear that he has no consent from the only people who could give him consent to use that device or indeed the word ”royal” in any business capacity.’

The move to clamp down on Mr Harrold's business venture comes just months after the Queen refused permission for her grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, to pursue commercial careers alongside official royal duties and to market themselves as 'Sussex Royal'

The move to clamp down on Mr Harrold’s business venture comes just months after the Queen refused permission for her grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, to pursue commercial careers alongside official royal duties and to market themselves as ‘Sussex Royal’

Mr Harrold has also argued that sitcom The Royle Family was allowed to broadcast unchallenged despite its different spelling.

But Mr Muir Wood said: ‘A TV series called the Royle Family is entertainment services but nobody would think that is the Royal Family.

‘It’s a comedy and it’s plainly apparent from it that it is nothing to do with the Royal Family, the Royal household.

‘We say what Mr Harrold is doing is entirely different from that. It is straight and clearly designed to indicate there is a link between the royal household and him, that he has patronage, that he has authorisation.’

Neither Mr Harrold nor his legal representative were present at the hearing and were last night unavailable for comment.

A decision is expected to be made in the next six weeks. 

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