Royal and Oratorial: Meghan and Harry Follow in the Obamas' Footsteps With New Public Speaking Deal

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 09, 2020, in London, England.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 09, 2020, in London, England.
Photo: Chris Jackson (Getty Images)

For you royal watchers wondering how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will maintain their standard of living since stepping down as senior royals, a new deal might provide an answer—and it has the presidential stamp of approval. (And for those of you who couldn’t care less, have a blessed day. This isn’t for you—and no, we don’t care that you don’t care.)


According to Vanity Fair, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just signed with the aptly named Harry Walker Agency, which, according to its website, is “the world’s leading speakers bureau.” The high-profile agency certainly boasts some of the world’s most in-demand speakers, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, Al Gore, Shaquille O’Neal, Venus Williams, and Tyler Perry (in whose Beverly Hills manse the Sussexes reportedly currently reside). And perhaps most impressive to the royal couple, Barack and Michelle Obama are also on the bureau’s roster, reportedly making “millions of dollars through lucrative public speaking engagements over the years.”

As Vanity Fair reports:

Harry and Meghan are said to be looking at the Obamas’ business model as inspiration for their own, and public speaking is likely to be key to their future earnings... Since arriving in Los Angeles they have not earned a penny, choosing instead to focus on their charities and Covid-19 response work. Signing up with the Harry Walker agency is their first major move, and a strong hint that we will soon see—and hear—more of the royal couple.

That earnings assessment isn’t entirely accurate, since Meghan reportedly donated her likely substantial fee for voicing Disney’s Elephant documentary to Elephants Without Borders. But aside from both being seasoned public speakers (and Meghan a former actress), bestselling royal biographer Andrew Morton tells Vanity Fair the couple is the “hottest ticket in Hollywood” at the moment, and predicts they will quickly earn “hundreds of thousands of dollars both through public speaking and meet and greets.” And if the response to Meghan’s recent heartfelt Black Lives Matter-themed commencement speech is any indication, no doubt she’ll be in high demand.

Since there have also been unfounded rumblings this week (also via Vanity Fair) that the recent racial uprisings have inspired Meghan to consider a political run at some point (perhaps even with presidential aspirations), the Sussexes might plan to follow in the Obama’s footsteps even more closely than we suspect—with a welcome gender role reversal, since the couple is now in Meghan’s home country. For now, we won’t bet on seeing her name on any ballots, but it wouldn’t be the first time an actor launched a successful political career—and Harry would no doubt make an excellent First Gentleman.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?



In this episode of Shitting in the Wrong Place we congratulate this one for the ultimate prize of shitting in the most perfectly wrong place.

In the next episode, we’ll delve into the less introspective approach which involves shutting the fuck up when the situation calls for it.

Stay tuned because for someone who doesn’t care, this seems like a whole lot of caring to me.