While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may still be working royals, questions remain as how they will make their own money once they are cut from the Crown’s purse.
The couple made a surprise announcement in January that they did not want to be senior royals any longer, seeking the opportunity to be “financially independent”.
The Times has reported Harry is in talks with Goldman Sachs, and could be a guest speaker at their events. Palace sources told the MailOnline on Wednesday that similar reports he would be working with the bank were “categorically untrue” and he was working with them for one of his charities.
However, it’s thought Goldman Sachs doesn’t pay its guest speakers, which means Harry might have to think about the opportunity the profile brings to earn some money.
Andy Barr, founder of PR firm 10 Yetis, told Yahoo News UK said any potential deal between Harry and a corporation the size of Goldmans could be worth millions: “I think they are talking £5m plus for working with them in a longer-term role.
“It’s similar to when a senior politician leaves a job, they have knowledge and influence. They [Goldman Sachs] are buying access to high net worth people that they have not been able to get.
“You would probably be talking about two to three years of work and then a review, but it opens up the doors to other brands coming on board.”
Mr Barr, whose firm has worked with brands like National Trust and Superdry, said companies would be likely to want to sign Prince Harry to a “non-compete” clause, meaning he couldn’t work for similar brands at the same time.
Eliot Wilson, head of research for PR company Right Angles, said: “It’s difficult to monetise [speeches], but Hillary Clinton, to take one example, can earn around $250,000 for a single appearance, and tens of millions of dollars in a year, so a proper commercial relationship with Goldman Sachs would have to be of that order: at least eight figures a year.
“It could be more if the duke and duchess were to appear or act as a couple.”
But the world of work might not be what Harry hopes. Mr Barr suggested the Duke of Sussex might find himself having to be more careful about how he campaigns and what he says when he is being paid, than as a non-political royal.
Mr Barr added: “I don’t think he will struggle [to get offers] but he will realise he is a brand.
“He will have to behave or he will lose endorsements.
“I imagine his campaigning days and not having to worry about what he says are over.”
Prince Harry may also have to weigh up how endorsements he take line up with charities he will continue to hold patronages for.
Mr Barr said: “It will be interesting to see if the charities slowly go.
“Say you have a charity that might be looking at the least wealthy in society, and [they will need to know] how that lines up with Goldman Sachs.”
Hayley Smith, director of BoxedOut PR, said the deals for the couple could include ambassadorship and network expansion.
She said: “Prince Harry has always been charitable and selfless, and we have seen this in the couple when still on royal duty.
“It would have been a negotiation, or condition of them working with Goldman Sachs, and nothing is to say that JP Morgan didn’t donate either.
“Harry is still very much involved in his charity work, and he would want them to benefit as well as himself, and this would be a significant donation to help the charity with their work, so in that sense, it is very much a long term plan.”
Mr Wilson added: “The issue of personal causes and charities is a tricky one: the business world is full of messy compromises.
“But a determined leader can leverage commercial relationships to benefit good causes, and the freedom from close association with the working side of the royal family may give Harry more latitude to operate in that space.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were reported to have been paid somewhere around £400,000 for an appearance and speech at a JP Morgan but, as they are still working royals, they would not have been able to accept or command a fee.
But the appearance is likely to help them as they start to carve the path they want to outside the walls of Buckingham Palace, and may set the tone for a future appearance fee.
Mr Barr told Yahoo News UK the appearance will likely act as a “gateway” for more work.
Meghan is reported to have signed a voiceover deal with Disney but this is said to be in exchange for a donation to an elephant conservation charity.
Buckingham Palace told The Mirror it would not comment on the personal diaries of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Yahoo News has requested comment.
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