How will Harry and Meghan make money now?
After ‘historic royal peace deal’ the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are free to strike own commercial deals
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could cash in on their new status with a series of lucrative deals as they look to make a living as private individuals.
Following what The Times calls a “historic royal peace deal” agreed on Saturday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be stripped of their HRH titles and no longer receive public funds in exchange for being able to strike their own commercial deals.
CNN says the couple “had pitched for a hybrid role, where they would be allowed to pursue personal income, but also continue representing the Queen. But it appears they were offered two choices by the Palace - in or out. They chose out”.
Royal commentators said it amounted to an “abdication” from the royal family and showed that under the warm words, the Queen had taken a firm and decisive line.
“It is harder to think of a much cleaner break than this. Harry and Meghan are still members of the Royal Family, but they are effectively no longer royal”, the BBC’s royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, said.
The big question now is how they plan to support themselves financially and whether they will look to re-brand their image to reflect their newfound independence.
The Times’ royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah says we can expect to see more deals along the lines of Harry’s Apple TV documentary on mental health with American television host Oprah Winfrey. His wife, meanwhile, has struck a deal to provide a voiceover for a Disney film in exchange for a donation to an elephant conservation charity.
“The Queen will clearly hope that any future deals the couple look to strike in America keep her and the rest of her family as far away as possible from accusations of cashing in on royal status,” says Nikkhah, adding “that is one reason the couple has been barred from using their HRH titles.”
“Liberated from the monarchy and unfettered by official financial constraints on their commercial deals”, The Guardian reports that “the couple’s soon-to-be new status as non-working royals could see them following the example of the former US first couple Barack and Michelle Obama, who agreed a production deal with Netflix to make TV and film projects”.
Hours after Buckingham Palace announced Harry and Meghan would no longer formally represent the Queen, the streaming giant’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said of working with the couple: “Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure.”
However, the pair’s decision to strike out and pursue their own path has prompted accusations they are selling out.
Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, made clear his view in footage from an upcoming documentary to be aired next month.
“When they got married they took on an obligation and the obligation is to be part of the royals. This is one of the greatest, long-living institutions ever. They are destroying it, they are cheapening it, they are making it chavvy, they are turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it now,” he said.
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