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How will Harry and Meghan earn money?

UK News | Published:

Book deals, TV appearances and public speaking have all been suggested as next moves for the couple.

Working nine-to-five in a humdrum job is unlikely to be the path chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but as it stands it is not known how exactly the couple will earn a living.

In their bombshell statement on January 8, Harry and Meghan announced their intention to “work to become financially independent” while also “fully” supporting the Queen.

They said they would continue to “collaborate” with the monarch, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge – but it was decided that a half-in/half-out model whereby the couple would gain financial independence while also serving the Queen was not possible.

Now, with their new-found freedom, they only have to wait for the offers to come rolling in, so what will the Sussexes do next?

There has been much speculation about the millions Harry and Meghan will be able to make through lucrative contracts, with suggestions ranging from acting, film or television, to brand partnerships, to public speaking, and even book deals.

But whatever they choose, the couple have promised that “everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty”.

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The Mail on Sunday published a video of Harry at the premiere of the Disney film in London in July last year, praising his wife and her joking about “pitching” for work.

In the footage Harry says: “Next time, if anyone needs any extra voiceover work, we can make ourselves available.”

Meghan then added: “That’s really why we’re here – to pitch.”

Harry was also filmed chatting to Robert Iger, chairman and chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, during the premiere and said of Meghan: “You do know she does voiceovers?”

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Disney’s The Lion King European Premiere – London
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex chat with film director Jon Favreau at the European Premiere of Disney’s The Lion King in London (Niklas Halle’n/PA)

A source has confirmed the agreement, saying it was a model similar to having the couple attend the movie premiere, where Disney “kindly” donated to the Royal Foundation in return.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could become the Duke and Duchess of Netflix, after the streaming giant’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said he would be interested in working with them.

Speaking at an event in Los Angeles, he told the PA news agency: “Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure.”

It would see Harry and Meghan walk in the footsteps of Barack and Michelle Obama, who agreed a production deal with Netflix to make TV and film projects.

The path taken by Mrs Obama after her time as First Lady – and indeed the career Hillary Clinton has carved out – may well be an inspiration to Meghan as she looks to her future.

The former Suits actress is likely to be highly sought after by publishing houses who would see dollar signs at the prospect of a revealing memoir.

Recent books written by Mrs Obama and Mrs Clinton topped bestseller lists and were accompanied by tours where they filled venues like rock stars.

One can only imagine the scramble for tickets if accomplished public speaker Meghan was to sign up to live interviews about her life in the royal family.

If a tell-all tome was ruled out, there would still be an appetite for a different type of book, perhaps focused on an issue close to her heart such as women’s empowerment.

The Duchess of Sussex guest edits British Vogue
The cover of British Vogue’s September issue, entitled Forces for Change, which was guest-edited by Meghan (Peter Lindbergh/PA)

As a former lifestyle blogger, another option would be for her to resurrect The Tig blog and become an a-list influencer, perhaps teaming up with brands, signing sponsorship deals, and getting paid in return for posting about brands on her blog and social media.

It is thought that this route may be unlikely as it could be argued that it does not fit in with upholding the values of the Queen.

Another possibility for Meghan would be to return to her role as paralegal Rachel Zane in Suits, which was filmed in Toronto, and would therefore be convenient if the couple settled in the Canadian city.

The show has ended now but executives may be tempted to bring it back if they were to have a duchess among the cast.

The couple may well want their work to have an ethical dimension, so they may sign up to financial projects or endorsements that promote a cause or highlight an issue that chimes with their own beliefs.

In April 2019, Kensington Palace announced that Harry was working with US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey on a mental health documentary series.

Harry and Oprah will be co-creators and executive producers of the project for Apple, with the multi-part documentary series focusing on both mental illness and mental wellness.

Away from TV, Harry could turn to the well-paid lecture circuit where he could depend on his confidence and charisma to bring in big bucks.

With his Army training in leading others and experience of appearing on stages across the world, Harry could well become an in-demand motivational speaker.

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