Obamas, not Kardashians, likely to be model as Meghan and Harry seek fresh brand - GulfToday

Obamas, not Kardashians, likely to be model as Meghan and Harry seek fresh brand

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex react as they leave after their visit to Canada House in London. File photo/Reuters

From speaking engagements, fashion industry and Production Company, new kids on the block, the liberated Britain’s royals Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have different options of making money.

In a world where social media influencers are reigning supreme, the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex need a smart and strategic plan on their financial quest. Especially because all eyes are on them, mentioned branding experts and Hollywood observers.

"Brand Sussex is a global brand and could end up making an absolute fortune, from public speaking to Meghan reinventing her lifestyle blog, to merchandising or brand endorsements," said Nick Bullen, editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV.

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Royal memorabilia featuring Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (C) is displayed for sale in a store. File photo/AFP

Recently, Harry and Meghan made a shocking announcement of wanting to have and independent life and will be financing it themselves.

Various speculations have been made concerning their career, with people assuming Meghan would be returning to acting based on her background as an actress on the U.S television show “Suits.”

However, the former royals have a lot of options. From establishing independent production company to making television shows, documentaries, podcasts or movies just like Higher Ground Company, created by ex-President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

Harry already has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to produce a forthcoming documentary focusing on mental health for Apple's new streaming service. Apple declined to respond to queries about further collaborations with the prince.

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Queen Elizabeth II,Meghan and Prince Harry watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace. File photo/AP

"The Obamas are a great model for how to make money and keep it classy. They could find projects that are moving and sometimes Meghan could be in them. If it's a documentary, maybe Harry could narrate it," said veteran Hollywood public relations strategist Howard Bragman.

Bragman said the pair should be judicious about their choices because "the level of scrutiny they are going to get is going to be ridiculous, and not always fair."

The speaking engagement market in North America is lucrative, it could serve as a possible stream of income for Harry and Meghan.

 

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Royal memorabilia featuring Prince Harry and Meghan is displayed for sale. File photo/AFP

"Big name speakers get well into six figures to make an appearance or give a speech at an event. If they choose to pursue that avenue, they would be considered in the top echelon of speakers," said Jeff Jacobson, co-founder of Canada-based Talent Bureau.

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Meghan has considerable clout in the fashion world. Global fashion search platform Lyst in November named her the world's most powerful dresser of 2019 and last year she launched a clothing collection in Britain to benefit an organization that helps underprivileged women secure employment.

According to Britain’s Sun newspaper, Meghan is discussing a project with French fashion house Givenchy. The fashion house made her 2018 wedding dress. However, Reuters could not confirm the report.

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Britain’s Prince Harry gestures next to his wife Meghan as they ride a horse-drawn carriage after their wedding. File photo/Reuters

The "half-royal" duo will also face stiff competition from established celebrities and YouTubers, who can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from a single endorsement on social media.

"Harry and Meghan have a combined Instagram following of 10 million, which is eclipsed by the likes of (soccer player) Cristiano Ronaldo with nearly 200 million," said Los Angeles branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev, author of "The Kim Kardashian Principle."

Building a social media following means being candid, fearless and transparent. "That is a challenge for the royal family because they have always tried to be the most neutral people," he said.

"The Meghan and Harry brand is like a start-up. There is lots of potential but no proven value yet," Sehdev added.

Bragman however said that the mixed race couple "are very representative of what brands are looking for today."

"If Harry and Meghan call you up and say, 'Hey, we'd like to have a meeting to talk about a project', who's not going to go to that meeting?" he said.