Harry and Meghan’s commercial status is at a turning point in America, say Hollywood insiders – who warn that the couple’s celebrity status is beginning to fade.
Prince Harry’s belated announcement that he will be attending his father’s coronation next month was warmly received in Los Angeles – not least because Sussex’s currency depends on him still being seen as an active member of the royal family.
“Harry is going back for all the right reasons, but there was a palpable sigh of relief among those of us involved with the business as Brand Sussex trusts Harry to be seen with his family,” a Netflix source said.
“In the end, it’s all about proximity to the king.”
Harry, fifth in line to the throne, is only expected to attend the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the morning of May 6 before returning to California.
Prince Harry is expected to attend the coronation ceremony alone at Westminster Abbey on the morning of May 6 (pictured with his wife and father in 2018)
The Sussexes signed a £120 million deal with streaming giant Netflix after ‘Megxit’ (pictured last September)
However, The Mail on Sunday has been told that a seat will be reserved for him at the post-Coronation luncheon in case he decides to go there too.
Harry is only expected to attend the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the morning of May 6.
Meghan will host son Archie’s fourth birthday at the couple’s £11.75 million Montecito mansion on May 6, and Harry is determined to return home to enjoy the celebrations later in the day – a plan that should allow for the eight-hour time difference.
Meanwhile, there is intense speculation in Hollywood about the couple’s next moves and how they will continue to generate the lucrative financial contracts needed to fund their lifestyle.
The Sussexes signed a £120 million deal with streaming giant Netflix after ‘Megxit’ and also have multi-million pound deals with publisher Penguin Random House and with Spotify. Harry reportedly earns up to £500,000 at a time for speaking engagements.
In 2019, the Duke was also famously filmed asking Disney boss Bob Iger at the London premiere of The Lion King, “Do you know she (Meghan) does voiceovers?” The Duchess later narrated a documentary about elephants for the company.
A senior executive at Walt Disney Studios told The MoS, “What Harry and Meghan do next is the $64,000 question everyone in Hollywood is asking.
Last night a source said senior aides at Buckingham Palace hoped Harry (right) would decide to attend the post-coronation lunch after all
“They’re at a turning point because they’ve done the Netflix series and Harry’s book. You could say that the bloom of the rose is starting to fade. What is their currency? Their main selling point is their link to the royal family.
‘Harry must be there (at the coronation). In America, this is all part of the story. Harry has to go back and he’s either hugged, which is great, or not – which keeps the story going.
“The story has to keep evolving because that’s what builds the brand and wins the offers.”
The director added: “The danger Harry and Meghan face becomes irrelevant. Americans care about the royal family. We’ve always been fascinated by the Royals. Harry is Diana’s son, nothing will ever change that.
“But the American public needs to see that he’s still part of the family, because his family and their drama is what we’re interested in.”
The MoS understands that while it has yet to be announced, Meghan has agreed to create a second series of her award-winning Archetypes podcast on Spotify. She’s also reportedly working on a book as part of the couple’s deal with Penguin Random House – the company behind Harry’s controversial memoir Spare.
PR expert Eric Schiffer of Reputation Management Consultants said: ‘Harry going there (to the coronation) is a wise move, both on a personal and brand level.
“He has been masterful in trading and marketing his royal lineage. Going missing from a big family event dilutes his brand.
Not going won’t hurt Meghan’s brand. Most people in the US don’t really care if she does or not.
“But for Harry, his whole brand relevance revolves around proximity to the King. So he’s going for the right and honorable reasons – but there’s certainly a huge benefit to his brand.”
Last night, a source said senior aides at Buckingham Palace hoped Harry would still decide to attend the post-coronation luncheon.
‘A place will be prepared for him at the table. He is not expected to continue to follow the coronation procession, but the palace staff is charging him just in case.’
The Netflix source added, “The images from the coronation will be instantly iconic. Harry will be in those pictures and you can’t put a price on that from a business point of view.”