Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been quick to reveal a flurry of ventures at work since they shocked the world when they stepped down as busy royals three years ago and turned to books – with Harry’s bestseller Spare is breaking records — along with movies, TV and podcasts estimated to be worth more than $135 million.
Harry is rumored to have received a $20 million advance for his latest venture, the controversial tell-all Sparewhich debuted earlier this month and sold more than 1.4 million copies on its first day of release, surpassing the 887,000 first-day copies displaced by former President Barack Obama’s 2020 memoir to become the fastest-selling album, according to Guinness World Records nonfiction book of all time. .
In September 2020, the pair signed a five-year, $100 million deal with Netflix to produce documentaries, documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming, which may still be their most lucrative deal to date.
In 2020, the couple splurged on a $14.7 million home in the posh seaside town of Montecito, California, cozying up to moguls and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres and Ariana Grande in a leafy, gated residential area. the public.
In December 2020, the former royals signed a three-year podcasting deal with Spotify worth between $15 million and $18 million, according to industry sources, but some reports suggest it could be as high as $25 million.
In the US only, Spare sold 629,300 copies in its first week on the shelves (down from Obama’s record of 831,300), according to figures compiled by NPD Bookscan, which tracks about 85% of the domestic print market. SparePublisher Penguin Random House said Harry plans to support British charities by donating proceeds from the book, including about $671,000 to the nonprofit WellChild and $1.5 million already given to Sentebale, an organization he co-founded for helping children in southern Africa at risk of HIV.
Markle also dabbled in publishing, although the work brought much less: in 2021, she published a children’s picture book entitled Bench which is expected to earn her an advance of up to $618,000 (£500,000). The 167-word book, which features illustrations of the couple’s then-newborn daughter Lilibet Diana, landed the The New York Times bestseller list, but it’s unclear how many ended up being sold. In 2018, Markle also published a cookbook and donated all proceeds to the West London Community Cooking Group.
TV and entertainment
Harry and Markle have so far released two documentary series as part of their Netflix deal, Live to leadfeaturing interviews with world leaders and celebrities, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gloria Steinem, and Harry and Meghan, a buzzy tell-all that broke Netflix’s documentary viewership records upon its release in December, while also drawing a wave of criticism, with some reviewers calling the series a “boring, narcissistic rip-off.” An animated children’s show called Pearlwas announced but then canceled in May before its release, but Heart of Invictus, a documentary about a group of injured soldiers preparing for the Invictus Games, is due out later this year. Meanwhile, the couple’s first podcast on Spotify, Marklov Archetypesexceeded for a short time The Joe Rogan Experience as Spotify’s top podcast when it was released in August.
Before stepping down as a working royal, Harry announced in 2019 that he would co-produce a mental health series for Apple TV+ with Oprah Winfrey. Due to delays due to the pandemic, the series did not premiere until May 2021. However, it is unclear whether Harry made any money from the series, given that senior working members of the royal family cannot accept money from commercial projects.
Despite the hefty price tag of $14.7 million, the couple’s Montecito home seems like a steal compared to the $25.3 million its former owner, Russian tycoon Sergei Grishin, paid in 2009. They took out a $10 million mortgage on the house, but it didn’t clear, based on available records, whether the loan has been repaid. The 14,500-square-foot estate sits on more than five acres and has seven bedrooms and 13.5 bathrooms, according to the Santa Barbara Assessor’s Office.
A royal heritage
After stepping down as working royals, Harry and Markle have relied heavily on Harry’s estimated $10 million inheritance from his late mother, Princess Diana. Representatives said Forbes in 2021 that Harry was not the beneficiary of the $100 million left to the royal family by his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother. It is unclear whether Harry was left any money by his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, whose will is said to have remained sealed for at least 90 years.
Harry and Markle no longer receive money from Harry’s royal relatives. The couple announced in early 2020 that they would be stepping down as working members of the Royal Family and no longer receiving money from the Royal Family. Previously, the vast majority of the cost of the pair — which Forbes about $800,000 a year – paid by Harry’s father, now King Charles III, through the Duchy of Cornwall, which brought Charles about $27 million last year (when Charles became king, the title of Prince of Wales and the dukedom passed to Harry’s older brother and Prince William ). As the new monarch after last year’s death of Elizabeth II. Charles took ownership of institutions that manage about $42 billion in assets on behalf of the kingdom, including famous landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. However, many of these assets are not his to sell, as they are “in trust” and must be passed on to his successors.
After stepping down, Harry and Markle dropped their HRH titles – short for His and Her Royal Highness – and voluntarily returned more than $3 million to the Sovereign Grant to renovate Frogmore Cottage, their family home in the UK, which was previously funded by taxpayers. Before she married Harry in 2018, Forbes it is estimated that Markle earned around $2 million in her previous acting career, mostly as a star in the legal drama Clothes for seven seasons.
A surprising fact
Harry and Markle are responsible for covering the cost of their own security detail, security experts say in 2021 Forbes could reach up to 3 million dollars per year. A British court ruled in July that Harry can challenge a decision by a British government committee to declare his family ineligible for police protection during visits to the UK, even if he and Markle foot the bill. Former Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu revealed in November that Meghan had been the target of “disgusting and very real” far-right threats. “If we had seen the things that were written, and had received them . . . they would feel threatened all the time,” Basu told Channel 4.
Harry and Markle launched their Archewell Foundation in 2020. In October, the foundation announced it would distribute $1 million in grants to women who “serve as inspiration to young individuals” in partnership with the VING Project, funded by the family of Groupon billionaire Eric Lefkofsky. foundation.
Lisette Voytko contributed reporting.
Inside ‘The Firm’: How the Royal Family’s $28 Billion Money Machine Really Works (Forbes)
How much are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle worth? Surprisingly, not so much (Forbes)
How rich is King Charles III? Inside the new monarch’s outrageous fortune (Forbes)