Meghan and Harry may only be able to command fees of around $250,000 to $400,000 – not $1 million as previously estimated, an events manager has claimed.
The international consultant, who runs VIP corporate events in the UK and US, said that the level of control demanded by the couple, revealed in a leaked contract from their agency, may put some clients off booking them for their events.
The event creator also told UK publication The Sun that he found it “fascinating” the wide range of demands are similar to those adopted by all the British royals when they attend events – even though Meghan and Harry stepped down as senior members of the royal family because they hated being held to strict royal protocols and wanted more freedom.
The consultant says that many organisations looking to book the couple will “raise their eyebrows” at how much control they are asking for.
The source, speaking from New York, said: “Harry and Meghan coming on the speaker circuit is certainly as significant as the likes of President Obama or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“The pair are fascinating, uniquely experienced individuals, who have a wide reach, who would have been a huge draw to a live audience pre COVID.
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“So back then figures between the $750,000 and $1 million mark seemed steep, but possible.
“Realistically their earnings range is closer to $250,000 to $400,000.
“And with those types of fees that is where the negotiations on their roles becomes tricky.
“While every speaker has a right to demand the parameters of an appearance, as the price increases often so do the expectations of clients.
“In that grey area are negotiations and discussions, until everyone reaches a compromise.
“The contract paperwork appears to read that the speakers have full control of the client’s event. It certainly raises eyebrows and will put off many potential large corporations.
“Not many clients ever like inviting talent as star guests, who may be seen as running their event and telling them what to do.
Harry and Meghan‘s requests, according to the Harry Walker Agency Virtual Event Request Form, seen by The Sun, means that any entity has to cave into the Duke and Duchess’s veto and approval for the people, who introduce them or moderate any discussion with them.
He said the conditions requested by the pair were uncommon for 99 per cent of speakers out there on the circuit.
However many companies, willing to pay them the reported $1 million fees, will “not like being bossed around on how to run their events and who will speak”.
The source added: “Every speaker has a right to protect their image and request clients adopt their rules …
“No speaker or paid guest, in my experience, has ever been allowed to have approval of each aspect of a corporate event, including former US presidents.
“Probing sponsors and corporations for the Sussexes makes sense given how particular they are about issues like the environment, equality and child poverty.
“Another key point is that their interest in the financial and fundraising aspect of charitable causes is smart. The last thing they want to be associated with is an event, which is not successful.
“Nevertheless I expect there will be some give and take on parts of their deals, but they will turn down many more events than they accept.
“My guess would be 90 per cent of opportunities will be passed on, once their speaking brand reaches its peak.”
This article originally appeared on the Sun and was reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Meghan’s demands put off clients