The Royal Family have been drafted in by the government to help attract more firms to the UK post-Brexit and to help fight a growing rivalry with Emmanuel Macron, after the French President put on a series of events aimed to steal investment away from the UK.
The Royals will co-host a green investment summit in October at Windsor Castle, which will see the UK host 200 business “A-listers” in a bid to attract more international capital to Britain post-Brexit.
Some of the world’s richest firms and individual investors are expected to be among the attendees.
Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and other senior members of government will lead the summit, which will be held shortly before the UK hosts the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
A senior Department of International Trade source told City A.M. that the event was supposed to be a direct attack on Macron and the French government, after they had tried to steal away investment from the UK.
They said the summit was a “very deliberate move” to hit back at Macron who has “brazenly courted investment in the run-up to Brexit and tried to exploit that uncertainty with big Versailles events”.
The Royal Family is set to become the centrepiece of the government’s Brexit Britain marketing strategy as a part of that move.
The source added: “The monarchy is one of our biggest assets and an important part of our soft power appeal, so why not use it to benefit the country?”
Invitations to the event, seen by City A.M., say it “will focus on the very significant opportunities for the world’s leading investors and businesses” and that the summit “will allow you and a select group of your global peers to come together to discuss this important agenda”.
The Royal Family is instantly linked to brand Britain, however recent events such as the alleged Prince Andrew underage sex scandal and accusations of racism by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could dent the family’s global appeal.
Royal Family author and journalist Diane Clehane told marketing trade magazine The Drum that the Royals were facing “a very big PR disaster” in the US, after the recent controversial interview.
“The royal family is on the receiving end of a lot of skepticism from people who don’t understand the system,” she said.
France’s attempts to steal capital and investment away from the UK began just days after the referendum, with the country’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire calling Brexit “fabulous for France”.
Macron last year publicly declared his intent to make Paris into the “leading financial centre” in Europe.
Daniel Hodson, chair of the CityUnited lobby group and ex-Nationwide Building Society chief, said France’s actions were “a wake up call to the City establishment to make sure the right circumstances exist to keep investment” in the UK.
“It’s clear the City has to be on its toes,” he said.
“The promotion and need for relatively fast regulatory reform is clearly underlined – it’s important now that we do these things quickly.
“We need to be in the forefront of financial innovation and green investment is an area that is top priority.”