Just weeks after slamming the door on Buckingham Palace, declaring their suffering as wealthy, pampered, world-famous senior royals so unbearable that they must take their leave and flee to the Canadian woods in search of privacy, humility, a slower way of life, time to think about which noble eco-warrior causes to support (while flying private, of course) and to create normalcy for themselves and their baby, Harry and Meghan are out on the stroll, selling their goods and services — whatever those may be — to the highest bidder.
You’d think, for appearances’ sake, they would have held out a little longer. It’s not as if they’re suddenly destitute. Harry and Meghan are, after all, still on the royal payroll through at least May, after which Prince Charles has vowed to support them.
And since decamping Britain they’ve been freeloading, staying indefinitely at a $14 million Vancouver mansion (a deal brokered by music producer David Foster) and at Serena Williams’ Palm Beach estate during a recent trip to Florida.
That trip, by the way, was to attend a summit hosted by JP Morgan Chase. Harry, a 35-year-old man who knows little of the real world, let alone macro- and micro-economics or likely how to work an ATM, spoke to an audience including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and architect Sir Norman Foster.
Neither side will say whether he was paid, though experts say it’s likely he was compensated substantially. And to speak of what exactly?
The grief he still suffers from his mother’s death twenty years ago.
To get this right: Harry, as he said in his last public statement as a working royal, had “no other option” given the “many years of challenges” he has faced, the result of losing his mother, his forced march behind her casket as a 12-year-old boy, and the ongoing mental health challenges from which he suffers.
“Every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash,” he said last year, “it takes me straight back.”
So, as he said in his farewell speech, he was forced to “step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.”
But for the right price, he’ll dredge up all that deeply personal emotional chaos, held sacred for decades, to a room full of global powerbrokers — despite zero chance any of it will elucidate or ameliorate a single real-world problem.
To cap off this inaugural foray into life as working commoners, Harry and Meghan reportedly had dinner with two of the most philanthropic and publicity-shy people on the planet, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez.
Now they’re reportedly house-hunting in L.A. and New York City — exactly where celebrities seeking seclusion go — and have been in talks with Goldman Sachs since at least November, months before announcing their plans to “step back.”
It’s been estimated that such vague partnerships could net the couple a billion dollar empire. Clearly, the only difference between life inside and outside palace walls is a profit margin.
The argument that they can do so much more now for their dearest causes, freed from palace restraints, is nothing but a cynical fiction.
Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, did more to change public attitudes towards AIDS patients as a working royal than anyone, and it was precisely because she was doing things no royal had ever done — handhold and hug and kiss those dying from the disease — that her activism had such enormous impact.
And when Diana did something else a future queen of England had never done — get a divorce — she didn’t commodify her brand or sell her secrets. She recognized her platform as inherently rare and valuable, made moreso by her refusal to monetize it.
SussexRoyal?! Diana would never.
Contrast his mother’s approach with the recent video, since taken down, of Harry cornering Disney chief Bob Iger at a private event, begging him to hire Meghan for voiceover work while Beyoncé looks on, mortified.
When, as a royal, you literally put yourself in supplication to a titan of capitalism, you have shown no scruples, no self-awareness, no shame. Now you’re just another hustler out to make a buck, and there’s nothing special about that.