Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming wedding may be bringing a ton of cash to the tourism industry in the United Kingdom, but as it turns out, the couple is causing a boom in the lookalike business, too.
The pair included a dapper-looking ginger who perfectly replicated Harry’s suave style and a dead ringer for Meghan, with gorgeous flowing hair and megawatt style. Sadly, however, this was not indeed the soon-to-be wed couple, and instead a knockoff. A lovely knockoff, but still a knockoff.
The wannabe royal couple was likely hired by Smeg to call attention to the brand, or maybe they are looking for a bit of press themselves. But this behavior is far from out of the ordinary when it comes to companies and people trying to cash in on the royals.
"I just did not believe that you could make a living," Heidi Agan, a professional Kate Middleton lookalike, told Insider in 2017. "It was something that just sounded really bizarre to me."
According to Agan, she was a waitress making somewhere around $10 when Kate Middleton came onto the scene and married Prince William in 2011. Her customers continuously made comments about her astonishingly close looks to Kate. Eventually, she relented, sent headshots to a talent agent and changed her career path forever.
According to Insider, lookalikes — including Patricia Ford, an 82-year-old Queen Elizabeth lookalike who has worked in the industry for more than a decade and Simon Watkinson, a 35-year-old Prince William lookalike — can make quite a living off their resemblance to the Windsor family.
"Just before the royal wedding was my busiest time," Watkinson told Insider. "Sometimes I would do a photo shoot at 4 a.m. or breakfast TV appearance before my day job, do interviews on my lunch break, and then make an appearance at a party in the evening after work. Luckily I could wear the same suit to both jobs and I'd simply throw on a tie to get into character."
According to Watkinson, he makes around $650 to $1,300 for a standard corporate event and up to $13,000 for a TV commercial. Insider reported that Ford charges roughly $780 for a three-hour event.
Of course, things can also get very weird in the lookalike business too.
"There have been some gigs I have had to turn down," Watkinson said, "including underwear modeling, private one-on-one appearances at people's birthday parties [...] and the offer to star in a porn movie."
Hopefully the new Meghan and Harry lookalike can steer clear of the odder gigs and join the ranks of Watkinson, Ford, and Agan. Who knows, maybe they’ll soon have their own lookalike family reunion. That would really freak people out.