London, Sept 7 : While the royals are known for their aversion to endorsements, a huge furore has been created after Prince Harry's snaps playing polo were used by a posh brand in its huge advertising billboards.
Fifteen feet-high posters featuring the Prince have been used by elite clothing brand, Hackett for promoting their expensive sportswear.
The images, reportedly taken at a match sponsored by the firm more than a year ago, show Harry wearing a polo shirt flashing a Hackett logo. Polo fans were taken by surprise when they noticed the prince's picture being used to endorse the company's elite sports kit.
"It was a very big temp-orary shop and as you walked in, the very first thing you saw was a huge billboard of Prince Harry. You couldn't miss it," the Daily Star quoted a fan at the Soto Grande tournament in Spain, as saying.
The poster shows Harry posing like a hunky male model, with his hands on his hips in the moodily-lit shot.
However, the posters do not make any official reference to its status as a polo sponsor in the posters.
"It looks just like he's there plugging their ties and blazers," said one shopper.
While it is known that members of the Royal Family are live by strict rules over sponsorship and freebies, the use of Harry's pics in advertisements has raised eyebrows at the Palace.
"It's one thing to pose for happy snaps with a sponsor but quite another to end up on a socking great advert," said one senior aide.
However, yesterday Harry's Clarence House office claimed that the pricne did not give his consent to the use of his image.
"There is no advertising arrangement and we were not aware of any photographs being used in this way. We will look into this," said a spokeswoman.