One of the biggest and most noteworthy repercussions of Prince Harry giving up his royal status was an immediate loss of monetary support. According to People, during their ground-breaking chat with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke of Sussex confirmed that, shortly after he and wife Meghan Markle stepped down as working royals, “my family literally cut me off financially.”
In fact, their move to California was only made possible by the financial settlement left to Harry by the late Princess Diana, who died in 1997. “Without that, we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” he said. “All I wanted was enough money to get security and keep my family safe.”
Wisely, the Sussexes quickly brokered multimillion-dollar deals to produce content under the umbrella of their organization, Archewell, which also naturally has a charitable wing. As The Hollywood Reporter shared at the time, in December 2020, Meghan and Harry inked a lucrative, multi-year deal with Spotify to host and produce podcasts for them.
They also signed an overall agreement with Netflix, per Us Weekly, just a few months prior, through the production arm of Archewell. “Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” the Sussexes enthused of their approach.
To date, though, nothing much has transpired from these lucrative deals, leading commentators to wonder whether Meghan and Harry’s new entertainment ventures are in serious trouble.
Although Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were smart to secure lucrative deals upon leaving the royal family, they aren’t exactly raking in the dough as a result. In fact, Forbes warned that the celebrity couple needs to start earning ASAP if they want to survive in Hollywood. The Sussexes have reportedly been racking up huge bills — including frequently chartering private jets — and are currently paying an entire staff to create content for the production arm of Archewell.
Thus far, they haven’t made any money from the for-profit wings, while Netflix’s recent cancellation of Meghan’s planned series, “Pearl,” will have cut into their presumed paycheck, too. Put simply, the Sussexes need to start producing content — and quickly. It doesn’t help that it’s tough “to pinpoint what the production entity, Archewell, is actually meant to do. It’s a very broadly-cast not-for-profit/yet-somewhat-commercial media/charity enterprise,” per Forbes.
Harry’s deal with start-up BetterUp, alongside his upcoming tell-all memoir, should bring in some much-needed funds. Likewise, the couple’s docuseries will also help, provided it’s popular with audiences — for one, this royal expert reckons Meghan and Harry might be pushing the limits of their fame. However, they won’t be able to do it forever, which also presents a problem, while the Sussexes’ charitable endeavors elsewhere are taking up quite a bit of their time.