On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: the International Baccalaureate

It is not unusual for individuals and companies to make the most of their royal connections. The right to crown their product with "By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen", in the manner of HP Sauce and Bendicks chocolates, is treasured by PR departments around the UK.

But a recent press release from the International Baccalaureate Organisation goes too far. Shamelessly cashing in on the ascent to the Dutch throne of King Willem-Alexander, it points out that he is the proud holder of an International Baccalaureate Diploma.

It may have been earned at a school in Wales way back in 1985, but the certificate "inevitably benefited his life to date as well as for his newly appointed role", according to the organisation. Hmm.

Jeffrey Beard, director general, expressed his delight that - like the new king - the International Baccalaureate had a home in the Netherlands. "He (the king) demonstrates to the world the characteristics that all International Baccalaureate students strive to exhibit," he said. "These are valuable traits for all students as they find their way in the world, as well as for a monarch in whose hands the well-being of a nation's people rests."

Goodness. But the question remains: was it completing his extended essay that helped Willem-Alexander to the top?

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