Tom Chamberlin

What Prince Harry should know about the LA crowd

What Prince Harry should know about the LA crowd
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day (Getty)
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For some reason I unwaveringly support unearned wealth, but only if you are one of the Windsor children or any titled subjects who have somehow managed to keep a few pennies together. Frankly if in 2020 you’ve figured out how to monetize your ancestral money pit then all power to you.

Other than this lot, the moneyed scions of the international parvenus can bring out my inner comrade. They come from all over and when you edit a luxury magazine, they pop up on the radar a fair amount. Each year, I am required for work to spend a week in Los Angeles to get covers booked and do some groundbreaking journalism on local hat makers and tailors.

What you need to know about Los Angeles is that it is a consummate meritocracy as well as a plaything for trust fund beneficiaries and not-so-bright young things. Inevitably, Harry and Meghan will be hanging out with one of these groups, probably not both.

One the one hand there is the meritocracy. The actors and actresses that Harry and Meghan know independently of each other, with whom Harry should fit in seamlessly with for a few reasons. Celebrity and royalty are not entirely dissimilar, in that people view you as somehow inhuman; you are regarded as something that is to be both protected and exalted. Everyone feels they know you and you give something of yourself by being so visible.

They also are big on wearing caps, so Harry will love this. Prince Harry in a T-shirt is, alas, not that uncommon a site and throw in jeans or he may even keep his chino/chukka boot combo, and he will do just fine there.

Prince Harry wearing a trademark cap

Actors dress terribly (exception being Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L Jackson and Chris Pine), but their stylists dress well, so when you see them in mufti, it’s never that impressive and Harry needn’t make too much of an effort here.

I once had dinner with a movie star I was profiling, and what I learnt from the dinner what that when you are uber-famous, there is an assumed hierarchy as to who approaches who. During the course of the dinner in something of a schleb hotspot, no fewer than two well known actors, both with academy awards nominations, one right at the top end of her third trimester, got up to come and say hello to this person who they had never met, but they were all famous so, you know, it’s access all areas when you’re gods in the Mount Olympus cafeteria. When you’re the most famous couple on the planet, they should expect queues to form.

If Harry ends up not with the A list crowd but with the hyper-wealthy, things will get complicated. Royalty will mean a lot to these people and they will see great benefit in being chummy with our wayward Prince. The social cache will be too hard to resist, and the added bonus of a famous(ish) actress wife will have started a bidding war on Sunset Boulevard for who gets a first crack at the whip.

My gut feeling is that there is not much preparation needed for Harry and Meghan here as it is unlikely they will be getting too involved with this crowd. If they do then I am afraid the attire is not the sort of preppy Eden that people like me would like. Blazers, if worn, will be pastel colours and rolled up to the sleeve a la the early nineties. Penny loafers have made way for oversized, often painted and studded sneakers, and the craze for marked-up skater clothing from Palace or Supreme are still worn as a badge of honour, in the same way that some people will have a Hermes tie or wear an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.

Harry is unburdened with the need to impress, so any speculation on how he may adjust himself stylistically to Los Angeles is caveated by the immutable fact that he is the Queen’s grandson. Los Angeles has been described by a friend of mine as a town that uses you like Kleenex; you’re exactly what they need at that moment but when they’re done with you, they move on fast. I’m struggling to see what use he has for it, but I am certain it will have a use for him.