This is a product line with a noble cause at its heart: donating money to needy charities such as the John Lewis Partnership.
Yet the move, like Markup himself, is a hard one to fathom. Has he copyrighted the phrase The Chubby Genius, and The Chubby Visionary, as well as The Chubby Grocer? Or is he simply The Price Chump?
On the one hand, it looks to some commentators like a steal, licensing the Right Royal Range for a song, in return for a few shekels to The Prince's Potty Trusts. On the other, with sales falling like a stone customers have clearly been Passing the Duchy not just on the Left Hand Side, but on the Right Hand too.
Was there a whiff of ganja (talking of duchies), in the air as da Price clinched the negotiations in the Highgrove hothouse? It's baffled finer brains than Pumsey's, poisoned as it is by too much Château des Cancre, that no sooner has da Price touched base again with the massed ranks of unemployed middle classes (sorry, consultants) with his Pauper range, than he goes all stratospheric with Duchy's Daylight Robberies. Clearly he must think City bankers are paying themselves stupid bonuses again. Or something.
On a visit to my local Waitrose Belgravia superdupermarket, I bumped into da Price, along with his Royal Highness, and his PR floozie, Sir Michael Lyons, on a store tour. "Roll out the red carpet, it's Don Pumsey," Markup exclaimed, with a beaming smile and a warm handshake.
What a charmer he is. A genius. A visionary. n