Harry and Meghan sign with A-list agency as they prepare to start public speaking careers

The couple have signed up with an agency that works with Barack Obama and Oprah

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 2, 2019 Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (L), is watched by Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) as she delivers a speech at the Youth Employment Services Hub in Tembisa township, Johannesburg.  Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan handed out meals to sick people in Los Angeles, in their first known public activity since moving to California at the start of the state's coronavirus lockdown. The pair, who have formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family, first volunteered with Project Angel Food last on April 12, 2020, delivering food to homes. / AFP / Michele Spatari
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Prince Harry and wife Meghan are ready to hit the speakers' circuit after signing with an agency that works with former US President Obama and other high-profile clients, according to a person familiar with their plans.

The pair is being represented by the New York-based Harry Walker Agency, whose roster of speakers includes Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, the person said on Wednesday.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 file photo, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after visiting Canada House in London. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they will no longer cooperate with several British tabloid newspapers because of what they call “distorted, false or invasive” stories. Meghan and Harry have written to the editors of The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror saying they won’t “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion.” They say stories based on “salacious gossip” have upended the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
Since stepping down as senior royals, Harry and Meghan have moved to Los Angeles, with son, Archie. AP Photo

The move is one of the first major steps by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to engage in paid work beyond the British royal family after they announced plans in January to lead a more independent life and to finance it themselves. They now live in Los Angeles with their 1-year-old son Archie, according to media reports.

The couple's speaking engagements will focus on issues such as racial justice, gender equity, the environment and mental health, an important topic to Prince Harry who has talked publicly about his struggles with grief following the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

The pair will speak together and individually, the person familiar with their plans said.

The arrangement with Harry Walker, owned by media company Endeavor, was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The speaking circuit can be lucrative for high-profile celebrities. Big-name speakers can earn six figures for a single appearance.

Meghan recently narrated a Disney nature documentary and Harry teamed with Winfrey for an upcoming mental health documentary. Both projects were in the works before they stepped back from the royal family.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with employees of Homeboy Industries, an organization working to improve lives of former incarcereted people, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 23, 2020. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Handout via REUTERS  THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. NO MODIFICATIONS. ONLY TO BE USED IN REPORTING OF THE VISIT MADE BY THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF SUSSEX TO HOMEBOY INDUSTRIES IN LA ON JUNE 23 2020.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, help volunteers as they visit Homeboy Industries. Reuters

Harry and Meghan also have supported charitable causes. On Tuesday, they donned hair nets, aprons and face masks to bake with employees of Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles-based social justice organisation that hires former prisoners and gang members.