So Harry and Meghan are to go off and build Brand Sussex into something that’s worth lots of money. So that they can enjoy the lifestyle that having lots of money provides. Well, OK, we’d all like to be having the private jets and the voluptuous houses bit:
A couple of hundred million? Five hundred? Heck, why not round the whole thing up to a cool ten figures and say it is worth a billion. After it emerged that Harry and Meghan have trade-marked the “Sussex Royal” brand, lots of experts have argued it could generate hundreds of millions in royalties and co-marketing deals.
The couple hardly need any subsidies from the British taxpayer anymore. Within a few months, they will be building a massive business empire based on their undoubted star power.
The trouble is, even in a world where celebrity is a currency, and where the likes of the Beckhams or Kardashians have managed to turn fame into wealth, the alchemy of that process is a lot trickier than it looks. In truth, the Sussexes face some major obstacles.
There is that, it’s more difficult than it looks. Just a little tale from the nether reaches of this celebrity world. Blac Chyna has gone from stripping to being a celeb and part of the route was via Rob Kardashian and bearing his baby. Fair enough and you go girl. Hey, play the hand dealt and do it well.
One part of the routine is that a nightclub will pay a ‘sleb to turn up and be in the nightclub. All connected with the Yogi Berra point, no one goes there any more it’s too popular. See, ‘slebs do, so you should.
There is a going rate for this service and one complaint from Chyna’s end of the bargain is that her rate dropped substantially once she was no longer Rob’s squeeze. Can’t recall the numbers but it was from low five figures for an appearance to low four – hardly enough to get her to the requisite city, hotel, limo etc.
The point being not that we expect Harry to be opening nightclubs. Rather, that becoming a ‘sleb by being connected to something does rather depend upon the connection.
OK, let’s imagine they get over that. They succeed even.
We’re still left with the point of, well, why are they bothering?
Because what’s the end state going to be? Say they make £100 million as a capital sum? They’ve 50 years ahead of them to spend it in. So, we’d be cautious and spend only the income from it – £5 million a year? They’re already living a more than £5 million a year lifestyle. Sure they are – forget what hits the books here in terms of actual cash income and think about what they can consume in terms of security, travel, housing, servants and all that. Stuff that rich non-royals have to pay for out of their incomes.
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.