Prince Harry And Meghan shocked the world when they announced they would be leaving the royal family, leaving their royal duties and HRH titles behind. But how will the two make money from now on?
Johnny Dymond, a BBC royal correspondent, clears things up, explaining how the royals are usually excluded from doing paid work, but with how the situation is going, the couple will be getting much more freedom. “Of course once you lose the title then you are no longer royal and special, and it may be that your brand is much less attractive to potential partners,” he said.
Mark Borkowski, the public relations consultant, says that even without their royal titles, the two still have a lot of star power that is sure to attract all kinds of opportunities. With the couple splitting their time between the UK and North America- their sheer global reach could open up a wealth of opportunities.
What are the ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can gain financial independence?
Even before the couple made their decision to leave the royal family public, there was legal action taken to trademark the Sussex Royal brand, which would cover items such as books, calendars, clothing, charitable fundraising and campaigning.
There is always the possibility of Meghan finally jumping in the business of fashion, using her fashion influence to launch her own line of clothes. But the agreement with the Queen has cast doubt on that idea, as a brand using the word “royal” may not fit with their agreement to step back from royal duties, all the while upholding “the values of Her Majesty”.
Journalist and royal style commentator Elizabeth Holmes says criticism for exploiting the royal connection is a risk in any commercial venture, adding: “That’s why I think they’ll be careful about it.”
Even if they have to go back to the drawing board with the Sussex Royal name, Ms Holmes says: “Any brand on the planet would want to work with them.” Be it a designer handbag or a simple baby hand-knitted bobble hat, what the three of them wear, it goes out of stock the day they debut it.
Don’t expect to shill though, Ms Holmes says, so don’t expect to be bombarded with sponsored content and product placement from their official Instagram account, which boasts a modest 10.5 million followers.
They do reach a huge audience, but this is nothing compared to the influence that people like Kylie Jenner, who has over 150 million Instagram followers.
According to some experts, with just a single sponsored post, the TV reality star earns an estimated 1.2 million. Could Meghan and Harry follow that trend? Ms Holmes says: “I don’t think that’s necessarily an appropriate thing for a member of the Royal Family.”
TV And Film
Could Meghan Markle make her great return to the TV screens or maybe jump to the big screens? With this decision, almost anything seems possible. Her husband already has joined up with US media mogul Oprah Winfrey to work on a series addressing mental health for Apple TV, which has a release date sometime in 2020.
There was also the revelation that just before the announcement of the split, Meghan made a deal with Disney to do voiceover work on a yet unrevealed project, with the funds from it going to an elephant conservation charity.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos has already expressed an interest in working with the couple. “Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure,” he said.
They might do what the Obamas did, who signed a deal with the streaming video company to produce documentaries and drama series about social and political issues. This might be the perfect outlet for the Duke and Duchess, giving them the perfect opportunity to shine a light on the charities they hold dearest to their hearts. For Meghan, these include equality and women’s rights, while Harry has been vocal in campaigning on mental health and military veterans’ welfare.
The couple has had quite an eventful couple of years, both together and apart, making them the perfect pick to write a book. This is a sure deal for them, as they have an army of fans just waiting for a more in-depth look into the lives of the former-royals.
In 2017, Barack and Michelle Obama signed a book deal that is believed to have netted them around 60 million dollars. Meghan should have no problem, as she previously would write for her now deactivated blog The Tig and last September wrote an article for that month’s Vogue issue, talking about her “love of writing”.
Natalie Jerome, a literary agent at Aevitas, says the couple have “enormous power and reach” and any book deal would be extremely lucrative.
“People have compared them to the Obamas and I think there’s potentially some merit in that,” she says.
Meghan is a great role model for many women of colour and young people, she adds.
“We’re in a period now where we’re talking increasingly about diversity within publishing and there’s a real push to reach wider audiences,” she says.
“If she were to publish a book in her own right and reach out to young people on the ground by doing talks and going to schools as Michelle Obama did, I think the book would be hugely successful.”
A Charitable Foundation
Prince Harry And Meghan have revealed that they plan to launch a charitable organization to work towards “progressive change” through “local and global community action.”
Ms Holmes suggests that any commercial partnership they have would be inevitably tied to the couple’s charitable causes, perhaps with a secondary opportunity to raise personal income.
For example, Meghan is a patron of a charity that provides free clothing and interview training to unemployed women and has launched her own clothing line for the organization.
This is an option for the couple, to draw a salary from their charity, but it is not the approach that has been taken by some of their likely inspirations.
Prince Harry And Meghan said they “researched the incredible work of many well-known and lesser-known foundations” in drawing up their plans.
Organizations such as the Clinton Foundation, the Obama Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been suggested as potential models.
The thing is, the Clintons say they draw no income or expenses from their charity, the Obamas are not listed among their foundation’s highest-paid officers, and Mr and Mrs Gates famously use their organization to give away wealth rather than to receive it.
An unexplored path the couple might take is after0dinner speeches and events.
Jeremy Lee, director at speaking agency JLA, says if they maintained a positive profile, the couple could be earning a six-figure sum for each of their appearances.
His predictions are that their demand would be higher in the US, saying that the couple could be offered around 500,000 dollars per engagement. He is more cautious for the UK, as he thinks if the public opinion of them sours they shouldn’t expect much money from speeches in Prince Harry’s home country.
Mr Lee predicts UK companies would only be willing to take the royals as speakers at an event linked to one of their campaigning interests, in return for a donation to their charitable foundation – rather than a fee – in the region of £100,000.
But in the US, there would be interest from “anybody that wants to show off and has got the budget”, he says.