They are currently rumoured to be hunkering down at a compound in Malibu
LOS ANGELES • Every starry-eyed ingenue arriving in Los Angeles (LA) faces the same question: How to catch that big break in Hollywood? For Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, it’s far more complicated.
The pair, who formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family this week, have reportedly already relocated to sunny California.
They are currently rumoured to be hunkering down at a compound in Malibu, the exclusive beach community outside LA long favoured by A-listers and movie moguls.
But how the couple will achieve their ambition of forging a new, “financially independent” life remains to be seen.
Meghan’s options would appear to be more straightforward.
It is a homecoming of sorts — she grew up in LA, her mother still lives here and she has extensive contacts from her days as an actress.
“I think Meghan will continue to work in the entertainment world one way or another,” said celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev.
“It’s their unique selling point, Meghan, at the end of the day, has come from the entertainment industry. They don’t want to be denying that DNA.”
While Sehdev thinks it is “unlikely” she will go back into acting, Meghan “might present documentaries, she might do more voiceover work”.
Before she left Britain, Meghan had already narrated a wildlife documentary for The Walt Disney Co, a company that her royal background could make her uniquely suited to.
“The fact that she was a princess, people do like that idea,” said LA-based producer and journalist Simon Thompson.
“Even though they’re no longer part of the royal family, people will still put that brand on her, she’s ideal for alignment with things like Disney.”
Other entertainment giants including Netflix Inc have already voiced interest in working with her.
But if she were to act again, Meghan will likely be wary of “stunt casting” and need to be selective in picking more substantive roles, Thompson added.
For Harry, the decision to sever family ties and move thousands of miles away is more of a plunge into the unknown.
“I don’t see a natural fit for somebody like Harry in Hollywood, but that’s not to say that he won’t adapt,” said Sehdev, bestselling author of “The Kim Kardashian Principle”. “The royal family brand was programmed to be opaque. It’s so controlled, so contrived and so manufactured that we don’t really know who these people are.”
Speaking engagements, book deals and interviews — including on Holly- wood’s famous red carpets — could be options to redress that, said Sehdev.
“He’s going to have to do a complete 180 and actually take a leaf out of the book of Kim Kardashian, those reality show influencers, and say I’m gonna actually open up my life. Let you in and show who I really am.”
The pair could also emulate the Obamas by forming a production company, suggested Thompson, a move that would allow both to highlight causes important to them such as veteran care, mental health and the environment.
Another decision facing the couple is where to live.
With Meghan’s mother based in the city, gated communities and private streets in affluent neighbourhoods such as Brentwood or Beverly Hills could appeal.
President Donald Trump has insisted US taxpayers will not pay their security bill, prompting a rare response from the couple’s spokeswoman, who said they had “no plans to ask the US government for security resources”.
Calabasas — a hilly suburban haven for the likes of the Kardashian clan — could be another option, said Sehdev. — AFP