What does every five-year-old girl want? You might say a bicycle or a pony, but Victoria Beckham has very different ideas for her daughter, Harper. The pop star turned fashion designer has registered her daughter’s name with European and British authorities as a trademark, according to Ben Chapman in The Independent.
Harper isn’t the first Beckham child to have her name turned into a tangible asset. Her older siblings, Brooklyn, 18, and Romeo, 14, as well as the younger Cruz, 12, have also had the trademark treatment. But the younger siblings shouldn’t expect any extra pocket money just yet – they “will have to wait until they are 18 to take advantage” of their names. In the meantime, Victoria, “as their guardian, will be in charge of the rights”.
“If money-making is the motivation, then even by the standards of modern celebrity, that is quite punchy,” says Sarah Vine in the Daily Mail. Posh, who is “about as friendly as a box of razor blades, and twice as sharp”, could “even rival that most aggressive showbiz matriarch of all, Kris Jenner, queen of the Kardashian clan of reality television stars”. Still, “at least Kris Jenner waited until her children were at an age where they might conceivably have some notion of what they were doing before she turned them into cash cows”.
But “let’s face it, the Beckhams aren’t like you or me”, counters Camilla Long in The Sunday Times. Victoria “probably realised a long time ago that her children, a collection of suffocatingly ordinary farmhand types, might not have the greatest chance if she didn’t push them”. Indeed, “if Brooklyn hadn’t been Brooklyn, I think we can safely say he would now be a waiter with a single bedraggled tattoo at a mid-level gastropub in Bedfordshire”. While this latest move might show their “undying need to build a Medici-grade concern out of discarded hair products”, at least “there’s a blunt sort of honesty”.
Certainly, the other Beckham children aren’t doing too badly. “Brooklyn, who has a burgeoning singing and photography career, earned more than £5m before turning 18,” says Adrian Lee in the Daily Express. At the same time, Romeo reportedly earned £45,000 for appearing in a Burberry advert in 2014 “at the tender age of 12, while Cruz released his debut charity single at Christmas”. Even Harper herself seems to be getting in on the act, since she “has already been seen modelling her mum’s fashion line for US budget retailer Target”.
Of course, there is the risk that by the time Harper is old enough to cash in, Brand Beckham might not be worth that much. One person who’s learned the hard way of the negative impact of a wayward parent is Ivanka Trump. She, and her siblings, recently moved against her father’s notorious “alt-right” adviser Stephen Bannon in order to “preserve the family’s name at a time when they are trying to expand the Trump Organisation’s portfolio of hotels”, reports Phillip Rucker in The Washington Post. In particular they were worried that Stephen Bannon’s influence “would be so protectionist, nationalist and backward-looking” that they’d “only be able to build in Oklahoma City or the Ozarks”.
Tabloid money… bridesmaids for hire –$2,000 a time
• Princess Charlotte will never know the agony of not being picked as a bridesmaid, says Sam Taylor, editor of The Lady, in The Mail on Sunday. The “pocket-sized princess” is to perform wedding duties when aunt Pippa Middleton gets married next month. But bridesmaids can be more trouble than they’re worth. It was for just that reason that two years ago New Yorker Jen Glantz advertised herself as a professional bridesmaid and received 250 requests overnight.
She now gets thousands of requests a week and charges up to $2,000 a time. Her unsentimental attitude may seem calculating to the romantics among us, but weddings are big business, says Taylor. “Normal bridesmaids may be well-meaning friends”, but often they are too busy, and “get carried away with their
• “In the quickest downgrading from ‘indestructible’ to ‘erm, totally destructible actually’ since the Titanic got intimate with an iceberg, it turns out the new fiver isn’t quite as bulletproof as were led to believe,” says comedy writer Adam Kay in the Daily Mirror.
“Supposed security features on the fiver (now worth £4.23 since Brexit) have started rubbing off, and poor Winston Churchill now looks like the poster boy for facial psoriasis.” This is despite assurances from the Bank of England that the note could survive the most hostile conditions. Excuses have gone “from ‘We never claimed it was indestructible’ to ‘It must have been extreme use’, only just stopping short of ‘A big boy did it and ran away’”.
• “A Slovakian company has announced it’s about to launch a car with foldaway wings that can be extended so drivers can simply fly over traffic jams. Sounds great,” says Jeremy Clarkson in The Sun. But if a car can fly along for 435 miles at 124mph, “why would you ever drive it on a road”?