The Duchess of Sussex is reported to be the world’s most sought after public speaker, but why? She knows how to make everything about herself and rake in cash, but what pearls of wisdom can she possibly offer?
Meghan Markle is a disturbing new breed of leader. Not someone who has achieved anything of note, nor broken down any barriers. Neither does she have a prodigious talent.
What she does possess is a steely willingness to do anything that makes money.
PR experts have revealed that Markle is about to become the most sought after public speaker on the planet.
Her fee per event is estimated to be around $1 million.
A lot was made of Markle’s recent speech at the Girl Up Leadership Summit, as her YouTube figures were far higher than those of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, who also spoke.
Whatever you think of the former first ladies, it would take the devotion of a zealous fan to equate them to the Duchess of Sussex – let alone prefer her over them.
One reason people could be tuning in was the hope that she might wash some dirty laundry. Does she hate William and Kate? Is it true she made their daughter cry by manically shouting at her during a wedding rehearsal?
Why has Harry or her son never met her father, who regularly appears in the media asking to be part of their lives?
Why did she invite Oprah Winfrey, David Beckham and George Clooney to her wedding but not a single member of her family, apart from her mother?
On a trip to Africa with Harry in 2019, she told a British documentary crew that life had been “a struggle” since becoming a royal.
It was a ridiculous comment, but the lightning rod was that it was uttered while meeting people who barely have any possessions and worry about where their next meal is coming from. Quite rightly, she was pilloried for it.
Since then, things have changed as Markle has realized she can’t work the royal angle to her benefit.
They can’t make any serious money, as the Queen keeps a firm grip on the family’s commercial enterprises.
While they live in grand palaces and never do any sort of conventional work, they don’t have tens of millions to splash about on indulgent whims.
Meghan thought she had joined the global club of which Winfrey, Beckham and Clooney are all members. One with global fame, but also the wealth to live on their terms.
The royal family don’t have that; the men wear boring suits, the women have to shun lavish dresses for clothes that aren’t too expensive and they all drive ‘sensible’ cars.
There’s no decadence as quite simply, the money comes with rules. Tom Cruise, for example, is wealthier than the Queen.
So Markle – and Harry – walked out of the world’s most prestigious club to go it alone.
They cited their desire to have a normal life and privacy, and raise their son Archie away from all the ceremony.
How does that equate with standing up in front of an audience in exchange for a cheque featuring a string of zeros?
What could Meghan possibly share apart from anecdotes about life on the set of her mediocre TV show ‘Suits’?
Pompous British society magazine Tatler wrote: “The Duchess is well versed on topics such as racial justice…” but it’s hard to see how that claim can be validated.
On the other side of the coin are those paying her. Her speaking agency Harry Walker is a business, which exists to turn a profit. But it’s the corporate bosses paying the $1 million fee who should be embarrassed.
Most of them – who are men – will be bereft of any glamor. They have money, but they don’t have the X-Factor, as that can’t be bought.
Bruce Springsteen, Colin Kaepernick, Beyonce and Barack Obama, for example, all have it and don’t adjust their compass for money.
But Markle is exploiting a worrying trend in society, which used to be the domain of low-rent celebrities. She’s trying to use the formula far higher up the food chain.
She’s neither rich nor exceptional, but is leveraging her undeniably high profile to portray herself as something she isn’t, someone worth listening to.
The disappointment is that many younger and easily influenced people are falling for it, believing this to be someone who can offer guidance and wisdom.
Charlatans like her are being enabled to masquerade as individuals of distinction. It feels like we’re in a race to the bottom, where any sort of integrity or dedication is deemed worthless compared with the great god that is ‘celebrity.’
Markle is cheap, tacky and full of sparkles. However, all that glitters isn’t gold.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.