The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may have $ 1 million in their pocket for their first appearance after the Megxit – but experts say they could harm the credibility of their “brand.”
The couple broke their self-imposed exile in Canada to attend JP Morgan’s “Alternative Investment Summit” in Miami on Thursday, but experts warned that their attempt to become financially independent could damage their image.
PR guru Mark Borkowski said to The Mail on Sunday: “This shows how difficult things are going to be. They have to earn a lot of money and they will slip away on the way.
“The concern is how many of these gigs will there be? How often can Harry play the mental health card?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may have $ 1 million in their pocket for their first appearance after the Megxit. Pictured: Couple in Cape Town, South Africa in September
“For J P Morgan it is an extraordinary” get “. They clearly have the money to afford it, but Harry and Meghan must prevent them from being perceived as tasteless. “
Prince Harry was also confronted with a backlash on social media, including critics who accused him of cashing in his mother’s memory.
A Twitter user said: “I am literally disgusted that Harry is dragging Diana’s death up to make money. I really didn’t think he would stoop so low. This is disgusting on a very different level. Shameful. Their titles must be completely deleted. “
Harry, pictured at a charity event last month in London, spoke Thursday about his struggle with mental health at the Miami summit
The couple flew on Wednesday from their rental home in Vancouver aboard the Gulfstream jet from JP Morgan.
Allegedly they spent the night in the £ 12 million Palm Beach home of Meghan’s close friend, tennis champion Serena Williams.
The next day, they accompanied 425 guests at the summit in an expansive tent on the grounds of the 5-star South Beach hotel in Miami. A 6ft wall was built to protect the tent from the sight of tourists strolling along the famous beach promenade.
Guests included former Prime Minister Tony Blair, singer Jennifer Lopez and her friend Alex Rodriguez, basketball legend Magic Johnson and billionaire NFL team owner Robert Kraft. Architect Norman Foster and Russian heiress Dasha Zhukova were reportedly also present alongside “dozens” of CEOs and tycoons of hedge funds.
The couple accompanied 425 guests at the top in a vast tent on the grounds of 5-star hotel 1 in South Beach in Miami (photo)
A source said: “Harry and Meghan mixed with the elite of the elite. It is clear that they are after the big money, but the danger in any situation like this is that people with a lot of money often have a shady past.
“They must be extremely careful who they interact with. Public opinion is fickle and people will turn against them if it is believed that they put their own financial gain above everything else. “
PR Director Ronn Torossian, of 5W Public Relations, said he expected the pair to have earned between £ 387,000 and £ 775,000 before appearing at the event.
“I wouldn’t be shocked if they made up to $ 1 million. Harry and Meghan will be the highest paid speakers in the business market, “he said.
Meghan was introduced on stage by American TV presenter Gayle King, a close friend of the couple, and received many tips to get the first post-Megxit TV interview.
The duchess spoke briefly about her “love for her husband” and then introduced Harry who was interviewed by King.
A source told the New York Post: “Harry talked about mental health and how he has been in therapy in recent years to try to overcome the trauma of losing his mother. He explained how the events in his youth influenced him and that he spoke with a mental health professional.
“He said he started seeing a therapist at the age of 28 while struggling with the trauma caused by his mother’s death. He said he felt like a royal prisoner, although he said his relationship with the queen was still good. Harry has also touched Megxit and said it has been very difficult for him and Meghan, but he does not regret their decision to resign as senior royals because he wants to protect his family. “
After Harry’s speech, the couple dined in the tent with carefully selected guests. A guest at the hotel said: “We were eating and we could see that something was wrong.
“There was a lot of security and people seemed to know they were in the building. Employees were required to sign confidentiality agreements and an email was sent to everyone who reminded all employees of the hotel’s confidentiality policy. “
People who left the event were reluctant to talk.
A lively group confirmed that they were at the speech, but when asked, they said, “Sorry, we really can’t.”
Lawyer Ramsay Simon from Miami tweeted from the hotel: ‘It looks like there is a famous person here tonight. A couple who are (presumably) former members, recently detached, from a British family whose role should be abolished and a few hundred years beyond the excuse of even being. “
Local journalist Lesley Abravanel said: “We are no stranger to presidents, gangsters, dictators, rock stars and movie stars here. We all see it. But in my two decades of dealing with celebrities in Florida, I have never seen a tighter situation than this. “
Faced with criticism, the couple received a welcome boost from Sir Elton John’s husband David Furnish, another close friend, who said he believes they can achieve “great philanthropic work.” Furnish became embroiled in the controversy over Meghan and Harry’s use of private jets when it turned out that they were flying in one last summer for a vacation at Sir Elton’s home in southern France. Sir Elton said later that he had paid to offset CO2 emissions.
Furnish said, “I know how passionate they want to give back and they really have the feeling that they have a platform and an awareness and a chance to do really great, great philanthropic work.”
The bank of Epstein, Madoff and the crash of 2008: how JP Morgan – where Harry and Meghan gave a speech this week – is embroiled in a series of controversies
By Harriet Dennys, Caroline Graham and Michael Powell
Harry and Meghan’s first appearance after the Megxit last week was at an event of an American banking giant engaged in a succession of controversies.
JP Morgan belonged to the group of large US investment banks blamed for the financial crisis just over ten years ago – and was eventually instructed to pay a record amount of $ 13 billion in 2013 – around £ 10 billion – for misleading investors in the years prior to the meltdown.
Coincidentally, 2013 was also the year in which the bank finally said goodbye to one of its most notorious customers, pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Bank insiders have raised concerns about Epstein – a friend of Prince Andrew – after the financier was accused of sex crimes and found guilty of applying for a minor for prostitution in 2008. Yet he remained a customer of JP for five years Morgan. A theory about why the disgraced American – who died in prison last year – was arrested in the face of increasingly shameful allegations, was his value to JP Morgan.
JP Morgan belonged to the group of large American investment banks that were the cause of the financial crisis just over ten years ago. Pictured: a jet from J P Morgan
It is said that Epstein arranged business introductions for one of his contacts at the bank, Jes Staley, the head of private banking who would later become chief executive of Barclays bank in Great Britain.
The Mail on Sunday revealed in 2015 that Epstein was lobbying for Staley to get the top job at Barclays after 34 years at JP Morgan. Staley said he had no knowledge of the illegal activities of Epstein and Barclays denied that the directors were approached by Epstein.
Among other notable former JP Morgan clients is Bernie Madoff – the fraud behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.
According to court documents made public in 2011, senior JP Morgan managers had begun to doubt the legitimacy of Madoff’s investment activities, but continued to do business with him.
JP Morgan eventually paid a $ 2.5 billion fine for failing to report Madoff’s suspicious transactions for two decades. He was imprisoned for stealing wealthy investors – including a number of celebrities – for more than 20 years. Losses from the scheme would have hit 17 billion dollars.
JP Morgan admitted that it could have dealt better with concerns about Madoff’s activities, but said that no employee helped knowingly with fraud.
In 2013, the bank finally said goodbye to one of its most notorious customers, pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein (photo)
At the helm of the bank through the good times and the bad state highly regarded chief executive Jamie Dimon.
Since taking on the top job in 2005, he has become known as The King of Wall Street and has earned $ 298.8 million in salary and perks.
Last month, for the fifth consecutive year, the 63-year-old became the top-paid bank chief by creating more than £ 24 million.
He is credited with sending JP Morgan through the financial crisis to become the most profitable bank in the US today.
Nickname ‘Mad Dog’ at the private school in New York – apparently because of his competence in the sports field – he has an MBA from Harvard, where he met his wife, Judy.
They married in 1983 and have three adult daughters – Julia, Laura and Kara.
Among other notable former JP Morgan clients is Bernie Madoff – the fraud behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history
It is fair to say that Dimon has made no effort to find ways to spend the wealth he has accumulated since his college years. In addition to a house on Park Avenue, one of New York’s most prestigious addresses, he and Judy escape in the summer months to their 34-acre country house about an hour’s drive north of downtown Manhattan.
The 1930’s manor is set in a forest near the town of Bedford, where other wealthy homeowners are the former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and actor Michael Douglas. Dimon bought the summer retreat in 2007 for a reported $ 17 million.
It is said that his management style is fierce. It has been claimed that he likes to hit the air when he raises his voice to scold staff and has a crumpled piece of paper with the names of “the people who owe me things.”
His tight grip on JP Morgan has not stopped the bank from coughing up more than $ 31 billion in fines since the 2008 crisis for violations, ranging from manipulation of energy markets to allegations of racial discrimination.
In January 2017, JP Morgan agreed a $ 55 million settlement on allegations that black and Spanish mortgage borrowers charged higher rates than its white customers.
It denied the accusations of the US Department of Justice, but agreed to agree.
JP Morgan has also issued an apologetic apology and paid millions of dollars in repairs for historic links with the slave trade.
In 2005, it admitted that two banks in Louisiana, later incorporated into the company, once held 13,000 slaves as collateral and owned 1,250 slaves.
JP Morgan’s London office reported a $ 2 billion trade loss in 2012 that was traced to large bets from a group of traders led by Bruno Iksil, known as the London Whale.