Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family on March 31, announcing that they were working to “become financially independent." Since their departure, the couple have encountered a number of obstacles including their ongoing lawsuits and complications arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
As the couple relocated to Los Angeles with their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and Prince Harry’s sustainable tourism organisation Travalyst have ground to a halt with numerous travel restrictions, their plans seem to have hit a roadblock.
Their efforts to build a brand around the name ‘Sussex Royal’ have stalled, as the Royal Family have said it is no longer “tenable” for them to use ‘royal’ in their branding. In spite of the difficulties, they have continued to champion charitable initiatives while under lockdown in California.
While their future plans remain uncertain, it doesn’t appear that the couple will struggle to stay afloat. Meghan was previously a successful actress, pulling in an estimated six-figure salary for her role in Suits, while Prince Harry has both earned and inherited wealth.
But what is the couple's current financial status?
The couple's combined wealth is thought to be worth around £33 million.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official site stated that it plans to adopt a "new working model," which will include earning a "professional income" while expanding and continuing work with their charitable organizations.
According to the Sussex Royal website, they will still receive 95% of funding for their office expenditure from "income allocated by HRH The Prince of Wales, generated through the Duchy of Cornwall." The remaining 5% of their funding, which was received from the government's Sovereign Grant, Harry and Meghan will relinquish.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Jan 8, 2020 at 10:33am PST
Further details about their future "financial independence" weren't initially made clear, but CNN reported that Prince Harry and Meghan were granted a trademark for their brand 'Sussex Royal' just before the new year in December. The copyright covers both 'Sussex Royal' and their charitable organization 'The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex', as well as clothing, stationery, books and teaching materials under ‘Sussex Royal’.
However following ongoing discussions, the Queen and members of the royal household have decided that the pair are unable to use the word “royal” in their brand endeavours moving forwards. A source said, “As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are stepping back as senior members of the royal family and will work towards financial independence, use of the word ‘royal’, in this context, needed to be reviewed.”
“As part of the process to transition the Duke and Duchess of Sussex into their new chapter, planning has been well under way around the launch of their new non-profit organisation. Details will be shared in due course,” they continued.
Prior to their split, Harry and Meghan also enlisted the help of American PR firm Sunshine Sachs for Meghan's guest editor role with Vogue UK in 2019, and Harry's sustainable travel initiative, Travalyst.
In February, Harry and Meghan, who have been living in Canada, flew to Miami for a summit that was sponsored by JP Morgan. Following an introduction by Meghan, Harry spoke at the JP Morgan Alternative Investment Summit, where it was reported by Forbes that the couple were "likely getting paid for it."
During their stay, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also spotted at the luxury hotel, 1Hotel South Beach, where they were said to have had dinner with Jennifer Lopez and her fiance Alex Rodriguez.
Meghan was previously a successful actress, pulling in an estimated six-figure salary for her role in Suits, while Prince Harry has both earned and inherited wealth.
Meghan and Harry lived in Kensington Palace before moving into Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. Royal accounts revealed that £2.4 million of taxpayer money was used to renovate the home, with remaining costs privately funded by the couple. Since their split from the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan are required to pay back the taxpayer money used for renovations, though they may still keep their home.
In comparison, renovations on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace reportedly cost £4.5 million, while work on their home Anmer Hall in Norfolk ran to £1.5 million.
Meghan and Harry came under scrutiny in 2019 for their use of private jets when they travel together, criticism which prompted Prince Harry to say that there “needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe” - adding that “no one is perfect."
The private jet trips were privately funded by the couple, while for their visit to family friend Sir Elton John's holiday home the musician revealed he had paid for the cost of the flight himself and donated to a carbon offsetting charity.
During their time as senior members of the Royal Family, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had worked full time promoting charitable efforts both at home and abroad in Commonwealth countries. From Prince Harry’s long-running Invictus Games foundation to Meghan’s clothing collaboration with SmartWorks, Prince Harry had also revealed in an ITV documentary that the couple planned for their “life’s work” to be “predominantly focused on Africa, on conservation.”
What was Meghan Markle’s net worth before she married Harry?
Meghan Markle had a pretty healthy set of finances before joining The Firm. According to The Independent, the Duchess of Sussex previously had a personal fortune of around £3.8 million.
Where does Meghan Markle’s independent wealth come from?
Meghan starred as paralegal Rachel Zane in over a hundred episodes and seven seasons of Suits. She reportedly received around £37,000 per episode, which put her annual pay at an estimated £333,000.
Meghan also appeared in several films, including Hallmark channel romantic comedies and Horrible Bosses, where she had a 30-second cameo as a delivery girl. Her role in the 2010 film Remember Me reportedly earned her £140,000, while for The Candidate (also released in 2010) she was paid £130,0000. Outside of acting, Meghan has made money from two collections for Canadian fashion brand, Reitmans.
Meghan’s old lifestyle blog ‘The Tig’, which she ran from 2014 until 2017, apparently earned her more than £61,000 a year.
What is Prince Harry’s net worth? Is it less than William’s?
Prince Harry’s net worth is estimated to be around £30 million, which is reportedly the same as his brother Prince William’s £30 million fortune.
Where does Prince Harry’s money come from?
The Duke of Sussex inherited most of his money from his mother, Princess Diana, and from the Queen Mother. According to the BBC, the Queen Mother put the bulk of her estimated £70 million fortune into a trust fund for her great-grandchildren in 1994.
Princes William and Harry reportedly share about £14 million from the estate of their late great grandmother.
Both brothers inherited three-quarters of Princess Diana's £21 million estate - with the other quarter going to her 17 godchildren. Before her death, Princess Diana reportedly left a letter of intent that read, "I would like you to allocate all my jewellery to the share to be held by my sons, so that their wives may, in due course, have it or use it."
When he got engaged to Kate Middleton, Prince William presented his future wife with his mother's old sapphire engagement ring, which is estimated to be worth £300,000.
Prince Harry, meanwhile, created a ring for Meghan with stones that belonged to the late Princess. "It's so important to me to know that she's a part of this with us," said Markle of the ring in their post-engagement interview. "It's incredibly special," she added.
Harry also previously made an annual income from his career as a British Army officer. Town & Country reports he made around £45,000 per year.
Another source of income for Prince Harry is his annual allowance from the Duchy of Cornwall, which he is reported to have continued receiving despite stepping down as a senior member of the Royal Family.
The estate funds the public, private and charitable activities of Prince Charles and his family. According to its official website, the estate has served the financial needs of the Royal Family since 1337.
"The Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate established by Edward III in 1337 to provide independence to his son and heir, Prince Edward. A charter ruled that each future Duke of Cornwall would be the eldest surviving son of the Monarch and heir to the throne. The revenue from his estate is used to fund the public, private and charitable activities of The Duke and his children."
According to a 2018 report from The Telegraph, Prince Charles paid £4.9 million from his Duchy of Cornwall income towards the official royal activities of Prince William, Prince Harry and their partners in one year.
What is Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s combined net worth?
The couple's combined wealth is thought to be worth around £33 million.