In the statement, Buckingham Palace noted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will "no longer receive public funds for Royal duties," as they will not formally represent the Queen. That follows the couple's initial statement, in which they said that they will "work to become financially independent. The updated funding section of their official website now explains the Duke and Duchess will "no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant." This begs the question, how will these two support themselves once they fully transition out of their royal roles?
What is Prince Harry and Meghan's net worth?
Let's not forget that before Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex, she was a working actress, earning, according to Forbes, about $450,000 a year for her role on the TV show Suits. With that income, as well as money made from side gigs like running her lifestyle website The Tig, designing clothes, and posting the occasional Instagram #ad, Town & Country estimated her personal net worth at about $5 million in 2018. With the crown covering some of her expenses for the past couple of years, Meghan likely still has quite a bit of that saved up.
And Prince Harry, it turns out, has his own personal wealth as well. When the prince turned 30, Forbes reports, he received an inheritance of $13.3 million from his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
So, the royal couple clearly has some funds squirreled away to hold them over as they figure out what they will do to support their family and pay taxpayers back for the £2.4 million refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage — and pay rent for the residence, according to the BBC.
How will they make money now?
Prince Harry and Meghan's intentions of becoming financially independent were announced on January 8, so details of what's next for them career-wise is yet to be shared. However, as explained on their updated website, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex take great pride in their work and are committed to continuing their charitable endeavors as well as establishing new ones. In addition, they value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing."
Though the couple cannot receive public funds, they will still receive private funding from the Duchy of Cornwall via Prince Charles, which included about £2.3 million last year, according to Cornwall Live.
Prince Harry and Meghan won't be the first royals to tackle a new career. Princess Beatrice works as vice president of partnerships and strategy for a software company and her sister, Princess Eugenie, is the director of a London art gallery. Additionally, in 1993, Prince Edward — son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip — started his own television production company called Ardent Productions. Unfortunately, the company was regarded as somewhat of a joke, and according to The Guardian, it was never able to turn a profit except for one year when the prince, the company's founder, production director, and joint managing director, didn't take a salary. He stepped down in 2002 to return to concentrating on royal duties and the company was dissolved in 2009.
Hopefully, the duke and duchess have more luck with their independent ventures, and with Meghan's history of hustling, we're betting that they will. For one thing, back in September, People reported that Andrew Meyer, Meghan's business manager, filed documents for her to keep the rights for her lifestyle website until 2021. Though a palace spokesperson told People that "the lasting trademark is to prevent false branding, to avoid others purporting to be the Duchess or affiliated with her," and that Meghan had "absolutely no plans to relaunch The Tig," doing so is now certainly an option (and one that those of us looking for chia seed pudding tips are hoping she takes).
We could also soon see Prince Harry and Meghan following the Obamas' footsteps with a Netflix deal — the CCO is already interested, according to The Guardian — or getting paid the big bucks for speaking engagements across North America and the U.K. (Plus, don't forget Meghan already has a voiceover deal with Disney and Prince Harry will work with Oprah on an Apple TV+ series.) The possibilities are almost endless.
This article was originally published on January 8, 2020. It has since been updated throughout.