Claim Meghan Markle, Prince Harry to make cameo on The Kardashians

Well, well, well. Let us all now ponder the very important question, how many pairs of clean socks does Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex own?

This weekend has seen the man, the myth, the never-quite-made-it podcaster turn up at the Formula One Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, where he seemed to have a tremendous time peering at screens with a series of interchangeable blokes in polo shirts while they all wore a surfeit lanyards. Vroom vroom.

For anyone keeping count, this Texas jaunt makes the third jolly that Harry has enjoyed in just over a month (Portugal, the Canouan in St Vincent and the Grenadines and now, the Lone Star State) forcing us to contemplate just how he might be faring for clean socks and knickers right now.

Despite running the risk of running out of boxers, in the last ten days or so, the duke has notched up at least two private jet flights, a stay on a Caribbean island where “billionaires go to escape millionaires” and been a guest, reportedly, of a couple of corporate giants at the F1. (Mercedes-AMG and Petronas.)

Harry might be the fifth-in-line to the throne but his conversion to Hollywood-ism seems nearly complete.

In a Calabasas monstrosity of a mansion right now, a single tear of pride is probably sliding down Kris Jenner’s face.

And lo, the final step to complete his showbiz baptism could be upon us.

There are now claims circulating, which thus far have about as much weight to them as a Victoria Sponge cake, that he and wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex are considering making a cameo appearance on The Kardashians.

To just pause for a moment and to take stock: Here we are, less than four years after Her late Majesty had to learn the US country code to leisurely dial on her trusty Windsor Castle rotary phone and the Sussexes might be about to reach the ultimate precipice.

Are we about to witness two members of the royal family appearing to play chummy with the first family of American consumerism for the sake of their limp careers?

If this actually comes to pass, I predict that sales of fainting couches will go through the roof.

The glaring question here is, why for the love of god (AKA Oprah) and all that his holy (Tesla stock) would the Sussexes consider going down this déclassé path? (Or should that be, cul-de-sac of cringe?)

The answer, at least according to an old Etonian friend of Harry’s, is dosh. The pal, who “has maintained a friendship with William despite not being in touch with Harry any more,” has now spoken to The Daily Beast’s Tom Sykes.

The insider has told the Beast: “I mean, it used to be a joke, ‘Oh, they are going to be the new Kardashians.’ The idea that it could actually happen is insane. I’m gobsmacked. They have frittered away their reputations in pursuit of money, and this is the result. I actually think they ultimately probably will do it, or something very like it. They have done everything else, and they are going to need the money.”

This anonymous old boy raises an excellent question: Just what are the duke and duchess going to do in the years to come to keep the cash rolling in?

Their content-making forays have achieved mixed results, from his book Spare becoming the fastest-selling nonfiction book of all time to two of their Netflix series disappearing into the streamer’s vast back catalogue without a trace.

Spotify parted ways with Duke and Duchess of Sussex earlier this year, with no other podcasting platform having eagerly snapped them up.

(Imagine the frenzied scenes that would have played out in 2019 if Harry and Meghan had been keen to make an audio series – a scrabbling, biting pack of streaming executives would have appeared outside the gates of Frogmore Cottage brandishing briefcases full of ready money to try and get them on board.)

No further book or Netflix projects have been publicly announced, though the entertainment giant did reportedly buy the rights to hit novel Meet Me At The Lake so that the Sussexes can have a go at doing some scripted content.

Does any of this sound like the makings of stable, long-term careers that will ensure the couple’s future financial viability?

Which is why, perhaps going down the Kardashian route (kircuit?) makes some sense for Harry and Meghan.

If the focus of Sussexes’ reality TV appearance was, say, aligned with one of their major causes and sought to reframe them as America’s First Couple of Caring, then it could go a long way to overriding the impression of them as serial woe-is-us cavil-ers.

It could also lend their brand a much-need populist boost. In polling data out last week and reported by Newsweek, the duchess’ net popularity has only fallen in recent months as she has embraced a much more public profile.

The Kardashians streams in more than 60 countries worldwide, while Jenner and her five daughters, combined, boast more than 1.2 billion Instagram followers, which could be one hell of a balm for Brand Sussex.

The signs that Harry and Meghan are going full-tilt Hollywood and cracking the LA power klatch have been appearing for months now.

The couple has been photographed out to dinner with Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow and Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd and their various husbands; Meghan did some high-level mingling at a Beyoncé concert in September alongside rocket man Jeff Bezos, Netflix head honcho Ted Sarandos, Adele, Kim Kardsashian, Ma Jenner, the Biebers, Chris Rock and Lizzo; and in October, the duke and duchess turned up at Kevin Costner’s One805 charity bash.

They also have the requisite estate, have acquired the services of one of President Barack Obama’s former bodyguards, for the last six months the duchess has been represented by the Beyoncé of agents, Ari Emanuel at WME, and the members-only San Vicente Bungalows is, the Telegraph has reported, Harry’s “escape place”.

It’s more than a little mind blowing when you consider that this time five years ago, in 2018, Harry and Meghan were busy charming the pants off our entire nation during their Australian official tour. The Sussexes were the bright, thrilling future of the royal family and the monarchy seemed to be going great guns.

We’re a long way from Buckingham Palace, Toto. The complete La La Land-ification of Harry seems to be here.

Daniela Elser is a writer, editor and a royal commentator with more than 15 years’ experience working with a number of Australia’s leading media titles.

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