Details of the couple’s recent rebranding as the Archewell foundation have revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have applied to trademark live shows, recorded performances and health services. Showbusiness experts have spotted that the couple’s blend of stardust and retail branding replicates almost exactly the hit formula that is generating a multi-million dollar fortune for TV mogul Oprah, 66.
In just nine dates across the USA earlier this year, Oprah’s 2020Vision tour raised more than £32million in ticket sales alone. Profits from souvenirs, programmes, books and DVDs are understood to have pushed the final take to more than £80million.
Oprah has become one of Harry and Meghan’s closest advisers and within weeks is due to announce details of the new AppleTV+ series she has been making with Harry.
As part of the series, he is due to visit British hospitals to talk to military casualties about the psychological effect of posttraumatic stress disorder. One source close to the Sussexes said: “They intend to be their own brand and they wouldn’t deliberately copy anyone.
“But Oprah is a great role model and there isn’t anything she doesn’t know about or hasn’t tried in the entertainment industry.
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“It’s been a very steep learning curve, especially for Harry. But they trust her sound judgement.”
Oprah’s all-day shows – co-staged with Weight Watchers – included live confessional interviews with A-list stars such as Lady Gaga, former first lady Michelle Obama, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lopez.
Event-goers were encouraged to take part in an early-morning mass dance and a diagnosis session that provided help on physical and mental wellbeing.
Lunch vouchers were also handed out as part of the £56-£240 ticket price. Oprah said of her sellout tour: “Each stop is going to feature a different line-up of celebrity guests, powerhouse leaders in wellness and people from all walks of life who took charge and created lasting change.”
She went on: “This is going to be a day-long party for everyone celebrating all that you are – and all that you’re meant to be.”
One industry expert said: “This tradition goes all the way back to the Great Depressionera touring shows of the 1930s. People would come along, marvel at the show and maybe take some sort of health cure before it rolled on to another city.”
They added: “They made people feel good about themselves in tough times.”
Oprah stage in February that any shows staged under Harry and Meghan’s Archewell banner would be held to raise funds for their new not-for-profit organisation to benefit charities.
Their patent application – filed in the US last month – covers live performances, counselling, lectures and workshops.
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