An interesting question

Or at least one that’s interesting to me.

Now, obviously enough, a proper valuation of that lifestyle they’ve currently got is difficult but this is the correct question that should have been asked before they set off down this path. What’s the amount of cash they’ve got to pile up before their lifestyle beats what they’ve already got? Then, what’s the chance that they’re going to reach that figure?

Frankly, from this accounting point of view it’s difficult to work out why they’re bothering.

Why are they bothering? They’re taking on substantial risk and yet it’s difficult to see them getting any further than they already are.

27 thoughts on “An interesting question”

  1. Why do actors earning $20m a picture do voice-overs and advertise shampoo? I’ve often wondered when enough is enough. …I suppose the incentive for Harry and Meghan is to be financially independent, in the sense they can stop taking orders give the finger to the Royal Estate. I’ve known two lads consumed by sibling rivalry and it drove both of them crazy.

  2. If they are planning to trade on their connection to the monarchy, then there should be royalty payments made to the crown.

  3. Bernie G,

    “I suppose the incentive for Harry and Meghan is to be financially independent, in the sense they can stop taking orders give the finger to the Royal Estate”

    But they’re going to be taking orders from publishers, media companies instead. And these people are going to expect them to really work, not just nip into a maternity unit in Croydon and shake some hands for an hour. If they produce a book, it’ll be long days of doing work to market it. TV companies will demand they do all sorts of things outside of the studio to fit in with the image they’re selling.

  4. Timmy, you should probably look only at the marginal cost (to the couple) of going “independent” vs the marginal benefit. As you rightly point out, one of the biggest costs of their current lifestyle is security but they’re getting it for free at the moment. However, I’m pretty sure that will continue to be subsidised (just too big a PITA to UK Gov if something Very Bad happened to them), so at the margin that doesn’t matter to them. I imagine there will be some other major items of expenditure that will also continue to be subsidised, things related to any remaining royal family commitments for example. Travel costs related to Invictus maybe? And the lack of a licensing fee for the “royal brand” is essentially an implicit subsidy…

  5. Harry should ignore her and find a more compliant bed mate. She can’t divorce him just as Hillary can’t divorce Bill, without that connection she’s got nothing.

    Bernie,
    You ask an interesting question, I would say it’s to keep them in the public eye, and because most people like to stay busy. The top names are only dropping one flic a year and photography is about two months, so plenty of time on their hands.

  6. Wotcha need to do, Mr W, is to analyse her position after she’s divorced him while hanging on to the child/children. That may be the crucial point.

    Perhaps the Mountbatten-Windsors are just not up to coping with a grifter brought up in shark-infested Hollywood.

  7. Get them an alcoholic chauffeur, nasty crash, big profitable state funeral, William adds Archie to his family.

    The late face-cream Duchess.

    Wonder if I could get this published.

  8. Right, you’re looking at this from the perspective that it’s a joint decision. The reality is that it’s Megan thats in the driving seat and Harry will do as he is damn well told. He handed in his man-card a long time ago.
    She is a textbook narcissist, using people (and family) for what she can get out of them, then dropping them like a hot potato as soon as they are no longer useful.
    She clearly is a massive control freak – no way is she going to knuckle under and be subserviant to the Queen and the Royal Family. She wants to do things her way, so that all the glory is hers, and hers alone.
    I would pity Harry, but how can you pity someone born into one of the wealthiest families in the world, who could have had the pick of nearly any woman he wants?

  9. BoM4 – But they’re going to be taking orders from publishers, media companies instead. And these people are going to expect them to really work

    Dunno, Mark Steyn made a good point about the difference between being a sleb and being royalty – posing with luxury brands on Instagram is probably more Sparkles’ thing than opening the new proctology department at Scunthorpe hospital on a wet Tuesday morning or pretending to be interested in fat Scottish guys chucking cabers for hours on end or whatever.

    I reckon it’s like when Paul McCartney married Hopalong McPsycho – she was expecting to live like an Oriental despot with rose petals tossed underfoot by obsequious slaves – but McCartney, and the royals, really aren’t flash at all.

  10. RLJ – She’ll still be the mother of Harry’s kid (and the future king’s grandchild). She’ll be untouchable. I think she worked this out way back: Snag. Marry. Bang one out. Sorted. Fuck off to monied Woketopia.

    I’m also sure the whole thing is Megain’s doing. She’s clearly a bitch. Reduced Kate to tears at the wedding and was such a bridezilla that Harry ended up telling all the staff to just go with her flow. Screams at Kensington Palace staff and hasn’t really understood the whole class / decorum thing. William and Kate, who are clearly very comfortable being at the tradition / duty / wellies / shut yer gob / mucking in end of the spectrum, have not been able to swallow Megain’s PC / woke / vocal / moralising / loud Californian / foot stamping comfort zone – and crucially are clearly heartbroken where this whole dynamic has taken Harry.

    William married very well. Harry very poorly.

  11. Also found Bernie’s question curious. I know when my investment income started to regularly beat my earned income, I lost a lot of drive to keep working my backside off all hours. I think this ties back in to an issue raised by Timmy’s piece – how much capital someone accrues and what income they can generate from it. Judging from the number of current and ex celebs who end up in bankruptcy or who leave less in their wills than I’m going to, it seems the standard model is just to earn enough to more-or-less cover current consumption, rather than to put enough away that the income will sustain them indefinitely. If this is all that the Sussexes are gunning for, then it’s a substantially lower bar and may explain why they’re bothered.

  12. The low-capital model maybe explains why celebs are so willing to sell off their personal brand/image rights to the highest-bidding advertiser. Nice to have a nearly entirely passive income stream year-round, that’s equivalent to the interest you’d earn on a very substantial dollop of cash in the bank – cash you may well not actually possess! But I’m sceptical how much the Sussexes can make in this way, because the Buck Palace Crew will surely put strict limits on the manner and extent they are allowed to monetise their royal links. Their overexposure otherwise risks damaging the core brand itself – including non-financial elements like public political support, which are of fundamental, even existential, importance.

    So like BoM4 I suspect that they’re going to have to actually work it for the money, not just lay back while affixing their signature to endless licensing agreements or posting spammy links on their insta. Dunno how enjoyable proper promo work, lecture-tours, book-writing etc actually is compared to opening shiny new wards in kiddy hospitals, but it isn’t necessarily going to be easy and clearly has potential to be tiresome. Will also surely necessitate substantial media/press exposure, which doesn’t seem to be their favourite thing in the whole wide world ever. I know social media supposedly lets them bypass all that, but in reality, if they want to go really big, they need both their web game and the column inches/TV segments. I’m not convinced they can fund themselves by aiming small.

  13. As long as we don’t get to the stage where they’re selling scented candles that smell like her vagina, a la Gwyneth Paltrow.

  14. Steve,

    “Dunno, Mark Steyn made a good point about the difference between being a sleb and being royalty – posing with luxury brands on Instagram is probably more Sparkles’ thing than opening the new proctology department at Scunthorpe hospital on a wet Tuesday morning or pretending to be interested in fat Scottish guys chucking cabers for hours on end or whatever.”

    Yeah, I think you’re right. I think this is all being led by her. And I think she’s up for this. I just think Harry’s not a media performer.

    I’ve probably said this before, but William bagged a good ‘un. She’s fine doing all that stuff. I mean, maybe she doesn’t care for all of it, but her ambitions fit in better with the role.

  15. Harry’l go along for a bit until he realizes he’s a trophy husband and knocks it on the head. I mean, he’s not that thick.

  16. If Harry’s got any sense (not that he’s shown much so far in the whole affair) he’ll milk the celeb carousel for all its worth, so that when the inevitable divorce arrives he can walk out of it with more money than he went into it with. Anyone with a brain can see where this marriage is headed, he needs to make sure he covers his arse.

  17. Jim the only situation where divorce could ever make financial sense for Harry is if there is a damn good pre-nup.

    What assets did the Black one bring into the marriage. She probably has zero income in the last few years

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    MBE,

    . Judging from the number of current and ex celebs who end up in bankruptcy or who leave less in their wills than I’m going to, it seems the standard model is just to earn enough to more-or-less cover current consumption, rather than to put enough away that the income will sustain them indefinitely.

    I suspect for most its more a case consumption rising to meet current income and then getting addicted to that lifestyle and the status it brings. It takes a lot of work to defer enjoyment and ensure that you are financially secure before really enjoying the benefits of your labours.

  19. @ Diogenes
    She had substantial income pre-marriage from her TV series while Harry only had a subaltern’s salary. What he had was a massive inheritance from his mother as a result of her divorce settlement from her husband.

  20. She had substantial income pre-marriage from her TV series

    Eh, maybe. IIUIC she was a supporting character on a low-rated show most people had never heard of on one of the less popular American cable channels. And she was 36 when she hung up her acting boots – she wasn’t getting any younger or hotter and was never going to trouble Meryl Streep. Earning potential as an actress had probably peaked.

    It’s not exactly FRIENDS, so she could well have been a thousandaire.

  21. As for the black lady’s career, 108 episodes of a legal rom-com, an episode of CSI:Miami and a few films, the only one of which I recognised was an uncredited role in the Russell Brand “classic” “Get him to the Greek”…. It doesn’t look like much of a career to me. It’s not even a Wendy Craig level of stardom and I doubt if she is going to startle us with her wealth when she dies

  22. Why do actors earning $20m a picture do voice-overs and advertise shampoo? I’ve often wondered when enough is enough.

    Ah, but this is the effect of selection bias. We only see the celebrities that can’t give it up. For many of them the money is hardly the point — they *want* to be famous, and live outrageous lifestyles so people see them. Some of them are so poor with money that they have to keep going, because they can’t put any aside.

    We don’t see all the actors who have a hit, make a decent sum, then retire away from the madness that is celebrity culture. They disappear, and because they never made it for any length of time, we don’t notice their absence.

    There’s the odd celebrity who manages to live outside the craziness, but is skilled or talented enough to just do the odd job. Robert Redford and Harrison Ford spring to mind.

    The ex-Sussexes strike me as needing the fame, being unable to take criticism and poor with money. They going to be miserable. Still, they made their bed, they can lie in it.

  23. @MBE

    +1

    @BoM4

    Yep. Beholden to sponsors, not duty

    @BlokeInBrum, Patrick

    Spot on

    Staff: look at how many have left including Royal Protection plod

    @john77 January 14, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    No. Meghan did not have “substantial income pre-marriage from her TV series“. If she had, why was she living in a dive in Toronto. Did you miss top-rated ‘Suits’, starring Meghan, when it aired on Dave in UK?

    Meghan’s long sought after fame & wealth is due to manipulating emotionally weak Harry into marriage which instantly meant Beckhams, Clooneys etc wanted to be her friend

  24. @Roué le Jour

    +1 Meghan has; but too late for infantilised Harry

    Harry & Meghan cuddling on sofa watching CBBC

    Mummy, do you love me? Why do you say daddy & granny are evil?

    Yes, of course I do Harry; [kisses forehead]; don’t worry about them, I’m here for you

    Thank you mummy, I love you

    [A bit later]

    Harry, it’s bed time, no fighting with Archie. Nanny will take you up to bed.

    Awe, mummy, not tired….

    Harry, go to bed, Uncle Harvey will be here soon to talk business

    Will Uncle Harvey be here in morning? He’s funny!

    Yes Harry. Now Go to bed.

    Yes mummy, night night

    (c) Pcar, 2020

  25. @BIND

    I suspect for most its more a case consumption rising to meet current income and then getting addicted to that lifestyle and the status it brings

    That’s the correct temporal order in most cases I’m sure; I was trying to fiddle with my words to get them right and didn’t quite manage it. The point I was going back and forth between including or not, is that in many cases it’s not even that earned income and consumption are balanced, but that they’re earning enough to become eligible for loans that allow them to spend even more (perhaps loaned out on the basis of “they’re clearly up-and-coming so they’ll have no issue repaying once their paycheques have an extra zero on the end”?) until they’re running on the treadmill just trying to keep still with all the repayments.At which point you are trying desperately to earn enough to keep the current lifestyle going without the whole edifice collapsing…

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