Walpole & Brand Finance report | The Royal Touch

Following the safe arrival of Baby Sussex, the seventh in line to the throne, we reflect on the enduring appeal of the young Royals with a look back at a report we commissioned from Brand Finance for the 2018 Walpole US Trade Delegation. ‘The Royal Touch’ uncovered American attitudes to the UK, British brands and the Royal Family, and can be read here.

Please click here to download the full report


Walpole members are invited to join us in New York City for the 2019 Walpole US Trade Delegation in October. Please click here to read the 2018 Programme overview. To register your interest, please contact Stephanie Robinson.


The Duchess of Cambridge’s (Kate Middleton) is the most powerful Royal Influencer, with the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) in close second.

The Special Relationship goes from strength to strength with 66% of Americans saying they “Love” or “Quite Like” the UK, well ahead of other European Countries (France 57%, Germany 52%)

Driven by TV shows such as The Crown and Downton Abbey, as well as coverage of the 2018 Royal Weddings, 76% of Americans say they are more favourable towards the UK and 73% say they are more favourable towards UK products and brands now than they were two to three years ago.

Americans aged between 25 and 45 – the same generation as the young Royals – are the most positive about the UK and the Royal Family.

Thanks to the style of Kate and Meghan, a third of US population considers UK a world leader in fashion.

Please click here to download the full report.

Alex Haigh, Director, Brand Finance, commented: “The monarchy is one of the most defining features of Brand Britain and the royal impact on the desirability of British luxury brands cannot be overstated. Interaction between a brand and any royal, but particularly the Duchesses, is like the mythical golden touch and can transform a brand’s performance overnight.”

“Recent examples of this effect include Meghan Markle wearing Finlay and Co. sunglasses, which the Financial Times reported created a US revenue increase of 2,700%. A white coat by Line the Label sold out within minutes of her wearing it publicly, and the huge demand for the clothing caused their website to crash. The Independent has reported that searches for the Strathberry Bag she took to her first official engagement with Prince Harry increased 2,044%, causing the stock to sell out in just 11 minutes.”

The Royal effect also reaches beyond fashion and even into the automotive industry. The research shows that 39% of American women say they would be more likely to buy a car if it were used by the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex. Both royals regularly use Land Rovers, Jaguars and Aston Martins.

Helen Brocklebank, CEO, Walpole said: “The arrival of the Young Royals has renewed the world’s enthusiasm for all things British. We are not only seeing a strong increase in demand for luxury goods and of course fashion but also tourism is up. What is most interesting is the appeal of Brand UK and the Young Royals to the 25-40-year-old American consumers. This is a demographic that had previously not been engaged.”

“Not only is the US the single biggest market for British luxury, but also it offers a huge growth opportunity for the sector, as the appetite of the US customer for our brands and services grows every year. I’m hugely excited about this research and our returning to New York to show the creativity and innovation that typifies luxury in the UK, and to fly the flag for Britain for US visitors thinking of making a trip here,” Brocklebank added.