Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's New Rules for Speaking Engagements Explained
Since stepping down as senior working royals in March, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have officially achieved their wish of becoming financially independent. In addition to signing a multi-year deal with Netflix, they will also be increasing their public speaking engagements.
The couple signed with the New York-based Harry Walker Agency earlier this year, and the details of their virtual speaking engagement parameters surfaced on Wednesday.
Details outlined in their "Virtual Event Request Form" — a standard, boilerplate form used by major speaking agencies such as Harry Walker — include a list of who will be in the audience and moderator approval, according to The Telegraph.
Organizers must also give details of any sponsors and “what they are receiving in return for their sponsorship" before any invitation is issued to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.“The choice of introducer and moderator will be at the final discretion of the speaker," according to the outlet.
In a statement, Don Walker, President of The Harry Walker Agency, said, "There is nothing groundbreaking, exciting, or newsworthy about a customary speaking engagement questionnaire used to gather basic information for our speakers. We were never approached for comment by The Telegraph for their story—which is also customary—but had we been, we would have said The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a standard working outline similar to what we’ve been using during our nearly 75 years of business. Every speaker wants to know the who, what, when, and where of every event we propose. That is all this questionnaire asks. This story is all foam, no beer. I hope those attempting to make news out of this will recognize the irony of referring to something this routine as “exclusive.’”
Factoring in the COVID-19 world of virtual conferencing, contingency plans for connectivity issues are also included in the form.
The form also asks, "What will the audience see on screen? Will you incorporate any branding? What will the speaker see on screen prior to and during their presentation?"
A spokesman for the couple declined to comment.
As part of their agreement with Queen Elizabeth when they stepped back from royal duties, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex vowed to continue to uphold the values of the monarch.
The couple is now fully free of any financial commitment to the royal family and the wider royal institution. This week it emerged that Harry has returned the $3 million in U.K. taxpayer-funded renovation costs for their Frogmore Cottage home at Windsor, and they are no longer reliant on any financial support from Harry’s father Prince Charles.