About two months ago, I sent an Army of Dads T-shirt to the world’s newest high profile Dad, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. In the package I included a sincere note of congratulations and best wishes. I remember the joy of having a healthy, newborn son. Twice. They were the two most exhilarating, thrilling, terrifying, exhausting experiences of my life. I could see no reason why Prince William would feel any different.
My motives weren't entirely altruistic, however. I had visions of Prince William, proudly wearing his light blue, “#DAD” T-shirt, showing up on the cover of every tabloid and supermarket weekly in the western world. Maybe he would be seen wearing it while pushing a pram through Kensington Gardens. Maybe he would wear it to the gym. Or maybe he would be so fond of his new shirt, he would wear it for the official family photograph.
The circumstances didn't really matter. The important thing was Prince William would be seen wearing an Army of Dads T-shirt, and our sales would go through the roof. It would be the perfect nutrient for my burgeoning business.
Alas, it was not to be.
Last week I received a package from Buckingham Palace. In it was the T-shirt I had sent the prince, along with a very polite (of course) note from one of his administrative staff--on exceptionally nice stationary, by the way.
The note said members of the royal family could not accept unsolicited gifts from commercial enterprises. I suppose the thinking is that some unsavory, opportunistic and dashingly handsome entrepreneur might try to exploit some cheap PR by having a member of the royal family be seen with his product.
I still wish the best for Prince William and his young family. I'm sure he'll be a good Dad, though now if he wants an Army of Dads T-shirt, he's just gonna have to buy one like everyone else. Feel free to mention that to him next time you run into him.