THEY have been footing their own bills since quitting the Royal Family and moving into their new £11million California home earlier this year.
But if their recent mega-money media deals are anything to go by, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry certainly aren’t struggling to make ends meet.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been raking in millions since quitting the Royal FamilyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
It emerged this week that the couple have landed a £30million deal with Spotify for their own podcast – branded a “woke word salad” by listeners.
One insider said: “The initial multi-year deal is worth in excess of £30million with a view to extending it within six months.”
It comes on the back of a £112million Netflix deal – which led to Meghan being labelled the “new Kim Kardashian” – and a string of lucrative speaking events.
So far, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are predicted to have netted up to £230million in their new life – after allegedly running up a colossal taxpayer bill in the UK.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex certainly don’t appear to be struggling to make ends meet
They’ve netted mega-money deals with media giants Spotify and Netflix
“In the two years from their wedding to last March, when they came off the royal payroll, I calculate that Harry and Meghan cost the British taxpayer at least £44million, probably more,” claims former Lib Dem MP and Privy Council member Norman Baker.
“Now from their right-on California pad, they have embarked on a massive spree to get rich, trading on their fading royal status while it lasts.
From their right-on California pad, they have embarked on a massive spree to get rich, trading on their fading royal status while it lasts
“The cash-in couple are now raking it in.”
Meghan and Harry – whose sprawling mansion boasts nine bedrooms, 16 bathrooms and a pool – have paid off their £2.4million Frogmore Cottage renovations in recent months.
Here, Norman – author of ‘…And What Do You Do? What The Royal Family Don’t Want You To Know’ – gives his verdict on the couple’s mega earnings:
Reported worth: At least £30m
Meghan and Harry have launched their own Spotify podcastCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Meghan and Harry’s latest money-maker, with popular music streaming service Spotify, is reported to have banked them at least £30million.
It’s 40 times more than fellow actress Amy Schumer made for her comedy podcast, 3 Girls, 1 Keith, which the global giant paid $1million (around £740,000) for in 2018 in a move that industry insiders claimed would change the landscape of the previously humble podcast world for good.
The royal couple’s mammoth fee means they will likely earn more than Forbes’s highest-earning podcaster, Joe Rogan, who made $30million (£22million) last year, with 190million downloads a month.
An insider said the Duchess was “the driving force behind” the huge Archewell Audio podcast deal, which Spotify says will “uplift and entertain audiences”.
The deal is reported to have banked the couple a cool £30million
Norman’s verdict: “The couple’s new vehicle Archewell Audio (soon to be Archewelloff Audio) will sit along other podcasts such as Sha**ed, Married and Annoyed by Chris and Rosie, Call Her Daddy from Barstool Sports, and My Dad Wrote A Porno, which earn a fraction of the amount and are guaranteed to be a lot funnier.”
Reported worth: £112m (‘rising to £200m’ with bonuses)
Meghan, seen making a surprise appearance on the live final of America’s Got Talent, could be back on our screens soon – in a Netflix series
Spotify isn’t the first media giant Meghan and Harry have partnered with.
The couple also signed a £112million deal with subscription-based streaming service Netflix to make their own shows in September.
It’s worth more than what Hollywood star Will Smith made for Netflix original Bright ($20million) and Ryan Reynolds made for Six Underground ($27million) combined.
Harry and former actress Meghan denied claims they were filming a “reality show”.
The couple will make documentaries, films and children’s programmes for the platform’s 195million subscribersCredit: AP:Associated Press
Yet, despite previously moaning about their struggles in the media spotlight, they didn’t rubbish the idea of a making a documentary about their lives – or one about Diana.
According to PR guru Jonathan Shalit OBE, the deal could see the Sussexes rake in almost £200million with bonuses.
“This is a massive historical deal – scale like no other,” he said.
One PR guru said the pair could rake in almost £200million with bonusesCredit: Paul Edwards The Sun
Norman’s verdict: “Harry and Meghan have hit the jackpot with the Netflix deal they signed in September. A cool £112million will soon be flowing into their already bulging bank accounts.
“We are told they will be making documentaries, feature films, and programmes for children. Or rather someone else will be making them for them.”
“One planned project is a documentary on Harry’s mother – perhaps capitalising on the success of royal drama The Crown, which drew in 29million viewers in its first week.
“If they can draw in that kind of audience successfully their future deals will be even more lucrative.”
Reported worth: Up to £756k per speech
Harry and Meghan have signed up with an elite New York speaking agency. Above, Harry speaks at a reception to celebrate the Invictus Games in 2019Credit: Getty – Contributor
Harry and Meghan could be making millions from simply speaking at events – that is, if their strict list of demands doesn’t get in the way.
The pair have signed up with elite New York firm the Harry Walker Agency, whose clients include the Obamas and Meghan’s pal Serena Williams.
Former US president Barack Obama reportedly earned nearly $400,000 (£320,000) for one 2017 speech.
And the Sussexes could net even more – with suggestions they could charge $1million (£756,000) a time.
The couple, pictured in Australia’s outback town of Dubbo in October 2018, have a strict set of demands as “virtual” speakersCredit: Getty – Contributor
But Harry and Meghan have some firm demands as “virtual” speakers – including being able to dictate who moderates a discussion with them and getting exact fee offers in advance.
And one VIP events manager told The Sun this level of control may put some clients off booking them, saying: “It certainly raises eyebrows.”
Harry and Meghan pose with their then-newborn baby son Archie in May 2019Credit: AFP or licensors
Norman’s verdict: “The cash-in couple have signed up with an agency that will deliver them up to $1million a speech.
“Quite what they intend to talk about isn’t clear, though maybe the Californian guru Brené Brown who is helping them ‘own their own truth’ might be able to tell us.”
Reported worth: Multi-millions
TV host Oprah Winfrey poses with her basket full of latte blendsCredit: instagram/oprah
Despite cutting financial ties with the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan have insisted their actions “will continue to uphold the values” of the Queen.
But this week, the Duchess is said to have sparked anger from the palace after she allegedly enlisted close pal Oprah Winfrey to help flog a coffee investment via an Instagram post.
Meghan – who invited Oprah to her and Harry’s wedding – has ploughed cash into the instant oat-milk latte start-up Clevr Blends, which sells packets for £21 each.
Oprah told her 19.2million Instagram followers she’d been gifted the treats by ‘my neighbour M’Credit: instagram/oprah
And experts suggest she could use her status and famous friends like Oprah, who has 19.2m followers – to net millions from the business.
Meghan – who is reportedly planning to build a portfolio of start-up investments – could earn even more if the start-up is eventually bought by a food and drink giant.
Actor Jared Leto and U2 star Bono raked in a fortune in 2017 after Nestle bought a majority stake in the small coffee brand they’d invested in, Blue Bottle Coffee – now thought to be worth more than $700million (£515million).
Meghan and Harry are planning their own woke honours list from AmericaCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Norman’s verdict: “Meghan has enlisted her buddy Oprah to help her flog her Clevr Blends coffee (though the spelling isn’t that clever).
“This oat-milk latte is, it seems, to be the first item in a portfolio of start-up investments – with more products likely on the horizon..
“Meghan is also said to be writing a children’s book, which at least cannot be any worse than Fergie’s Budgie the Helicopter.”
OTHER MEG-ABUCKS IDEAS
IF Meghan and Harry’s multi-million-pound media deals don’t work out, there are plenty of other ways they can get royally rich.
Their money-making options could include:
A BOOK DEAL
Potential earnings: At least £47.5m
Barack and Michelle Obama’s reported $64million (£47.5million) joint book deal in 2017 smashed the record for presidential memoirs.
But experts say Meghan and Harry could secure a deal worth even MORE than this to tell their “unfiltered” side of the “royal crisis”.
Though the couple have yet to reveal any plans to release memoirs, Meghan is a keen writer, having previously guest-edited British Vogue.
SPONSORED INSTAGRAM POSTS
Potential earnings: £81m
Like countless other celebs, the Duke and Duchess could turn to Instagram if they ever find themselves rummaging for cash.
The couple could earn £85,000 for just one sponsored post to their more than 10million followers, according to the influencer marketing agency Inzpire.me.
They’d be following in the footsteps of Instagrammers Stacey Solomon, Sam and Billie Faiers, and Jacqueline Jossa.