It has been revealed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle no longer get any funding from the Royal Family and are now totally financially independent – here we take a look at where they do get their cash from
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sensationally revealed they were quitting as working royals, they said they would “work to become financially independent”. And the latest royal accounts show that they’ve achieved this goal as it has emerged his Prince Charles is no longer funding the pair. Charles’s bill for his sons and their families no longer lists the Sussexes in the accounts. And a source close to the Prince of Wales said Harry and Meghan “should be congratulated in achieving their goal”.
To become financially independent, the couple has raked in millions from the private sector – despite using their newfound roles to routinely slam the royal family in global television interviews. But where exactly do they get their millions from? And more interestingly, how do they spend it?
Multi-million business deals
Since stepping back from the royal family, Harry and Meghan have signed several deals that are thought to be worth millions of dollars. One is with Netflix, which they will work with to create “content that informs but also gives hope”. It is unknown exactly how much the deal is worth but it has been reported it could be worth $112 million.
Programmes in the works are believed to be a documentary about the Invictus Games that Harry founded and a reality-style show that focuses on the couple themselves. A children’s series about a young girl’s adventures called Pearl, where Meghan was due to act as executive producer, has been axed. The couple has also signed a deal with Spotify, said to be worth £18million to produce podcasts that promote “diverse and inspiring voices” under the couple’s brand Archewell Audio.
However, little content has been produced and it was reported earlier this year that S potify were taking the deal into their own hands and using its own production arm for shows. Later it was revealed that Meghan would be releasing a podcast series about female stereotypes, in which she vows to investigate “labels that try to hold women back”. The podcast – called Archetypes – will launch this summer and Meghan will speak to historians, experts and women who have experienced being typecast.
Meanwhile in 2020, Meghan enlisted the help of her billionaire chat show friend Oprah Winfrey to help sell a vegan brand of coffee she had invested in. The Duchess backed the firm Clevr Blends – a start-up that makes instant oat-milk lattes – as she reportedly “begins to build a portfolio of startup investments”. However, the value of the deal is unknown. She also wrote a children’s book called The Bench, which was inspired by a poem she wrote for Harry shortly after son Archie was born.
It is unknown if Meghan received an advance for the book, but a branding expert told MailOnline an advance could have been worth £500,000. Harry is also writing a tell-all memoir, however it is believed all the proceeds will be going to charity. Meanwhile, he also took a job as the chief impact officer at Silicon Valley start-up BetterUp that focuses on coaching people on their mental health to help people’s performance. His salary has not been revealed but a tech expert revealed it could be around £2 million.
In their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry revealed he and Meghan had relied on his inheritance from his late mum Princess Diana in order to move to the US. It is thought to have been a sum of about £7 million at the time of her death in August 1997. He told Oprah: “I brought what my mum left me. And without that, we would not have been able to do this.” In addition, when the Queen Mother died in 2002, reports suggested Harry and William would split about £14 million from their great-grandmother’s estimated £70 million fortune.
Last October, the couple announced a partnership with a sustainable investment firm called Ethic. They revealed they have become “impact partners” and investors in the fintech asset manager, which has $1.3billion under management. It is believed that the couple were introduced to the firm, which only invests in companies that they deem to have acceptable environmental and social goals, by friends. It is unknown how much they have invested or what they are being paid.
In a joint interview with Harry, Meghan told DealBook : “From the world I come from, you don’t talk about investing, right?” “You don’t have the luxury to invest. That sounds so fancy. “My husband has been saying for years, ‘Gosh, don’t you wish there was a place where if your values were aligned like this, you could put your money to that same sort of thing?’”
Meghan’s acting career
Before meeting Harry, Meghan had a successful acting career and was one of the stars of the TV legal drama Suits. It is believed she was paid around £38,000 per episode for her role as paralegal Rachel Zane. As well as acting, Meghan also ran a successful lifestyle blog and designed a clothing line for Canadian brand Reitmans.
After settling in California, Harry and Meghan snapped up a sprawling house in the exclusive community of Montecito. The house is reportedly worth £11 million and the couple reportedly has a mortgage of around £7 million. It is believed they will have to pay almost £50,000 per month over the next 30 years to cover the mortgage repayments as well as property taxes and insurances.
After marrying in 2018, the couple settled at Kensington Palace but eventually moved to Windsor and into a new home – Frogmore Cottage. The home was renovated before they moved in at a cost of £2.4 million – with the UK taxpayer initially footing the bill before Harry and Meghan repaid the cashed. Despite not living there, the couple are now funding the general upkeep of their former home, like maintaining the garden, with the Sovereign Grant, the funding system for the monarchy and royal building works, effectively acting as the “landlord”, undertaking major works like a normal tenant-landlord relationship.
Frogmore, a Grade-II listed property which is owned by the Crown Estate, was a gift from Harry’s grandmother, the Queen. The senior royal source said the rent “has been calculated by reference to market valuations for a property of that nature. “”o it’s an independent valuation, so it’s been market tested”. The source said: “The 2.4 million has all been received and it has now been fully accounted for within the Sovereign Grant accounts, there’s no deferred income, it’s all been recognised. “And we say that fulfils their current obligations for rent under the licence and we would not go into the commercial details of the arrangement, as we wouldn’t for any other property rental, so we would not say what period that covered.”
While living in the UK, the couple’s security was provided by the Metropolitan Police – but the cost was unknown. Now they have to pay for their own security – and earlier this year it was reported they had hired a bodyguard who formerly worked with Michael Jackson.
During the interview with Oprah, Harry said the couple’s big money deals with the likes of Netflix and Spotify were “never part of the plan” but necessary. He said: “From my perspective all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security, to keep my family safe.”