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Prince William and Kate Middleton have taken a big step toward expanding their charity work stateside. In doing so, a royal commentator says the couple’s threatening Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have lived in California since stepping back as working royals in 2020. Ahead, what the Prince and Princess of Wales have done to signal a “threat” to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Plus, details on what could be in store for William and Kate’s charity. 

William and Kate’s Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales filed for a U.S. trademark in May 2023

Just days after the Duke of Sussex and the Prince and Princess of Wales were in the same room together for King Charles III’s coronation, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) received an application from none other than William and Kate. Or, rather, the philanthropic arm of their royal office, The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales. 

As reported by the Daily Mail British tabloid, The Royal Foundation submitted an application on May 12, 2023, to trademark “The Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales.” The goal: to “trademark the Foundation’s name for ‘promotional campaigning, charitable fundraising, educational activities, and healthcare services relating to mental health.’”

The application, which lists Kensington Palace as The Royal Foundation’s address, also listed a trademark filing for “printed matter, banners, and posters … in relation to charitable activities in the field of mental health; printed race numbers, clothing, footwear, headgear.”

The specific language in the Royal Foundation U.S. trademark application is telling, an expert says

Prince William and Kate Middleton, whose Royal Foundation filed for a U.S. Trademark, in Boston, Mass., at Celtics game.
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Samir Hussein – Pool/WireImage

Speaking to the U.K.’s Express, a legal expert remarked on the wording of William and Kate’s Royal Foundation trademark application. Specifically, the word choice. They explained it’s typically “unusual” to call out “printed race numbers,” noting it might suggest a run of some kind in the future. 

“Normally the language is fairly broad and all-encompassing,” the expert said. “But for this application to mention race bibs, in particular, might suggest they are thinking about hosting some sort of race or fun run here in the States?”

As for the timing of the application, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Newsweek it was by no means an accident. “Harry and Meghan’s popularity in the U.S. has appeared to be on the wane,” he said. “Certainly the Waleses’ trademark application is a threat to them whilst the rift in the royal family remains so deep, as the Sussexes have always attached such importance to the popularity of their brand in the United States.”

“This application is extremely timely,” the commentator continued. “William’s recent visit to the Earthshot Prize Summit in New York was highly successful. The recent Gallup poll where he was voted America’s most popular public figure is enormously significant.” 

“It would, of course, be so much more constructive if they all worked together for charitable purposes,” Fitzwilliams concluded.

The last time William and Kate teamed up with Harry and Meghan, outside of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral was in 2018 when they sat down for a Royal Foundation Forum, which Harry later claimed in Spare, included an awkward moment backstage and the apparent starting point of comparing Kate to Meghan

What happens next with William and Kate’s U.S. trademark application for their Royal Foundation

Don’t expect William and Kate to announce a race or some other type of running event in the U.S. soon. No further information on the U.S. trademark application for The Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales has been released. 

The latest development came on Sept. 5, 2023, when the USPTO issued an official receipt after the application’s May 12 filing. As for what’s next, the application will have to be reviewed.