For Meghan Markle and Prince Harry—the latter of whom turns 37 on Sep. 15— independent wealth became a big priority as they prepared to leave their royal life behind. When the couple announced in Jan. 2020 that they would be stepping back as senior royals, they said that they would “work to become financially independent” while still working to support Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s grandmother.
But that plan drew skepticism. “I don’t think it is going to work, to be honest,” Royal Legacy author David McClure told the Associated Press at the time. “How can you be half in, half out? Half the week perform public duties and the other half earn your own income with TV, lectures, books?”
The question became moot days later, when Buckingham Palace clarified that the Sussexes would no longer represent the Queen or receive public funds for royal duties. Since then, however, the couple has been earning big bucks
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are accumulating independent wealth with deals with Netflix and Spotify.
In Sep. 2020, The New York Times reported that Harry and Meghan had formed a production company, Archewell Productions, and signed a multiyear development deal with Netflix. Though the deal's financial terms weren’t disclosed, sources told the newspaper that the couple had been seeking a deal worth around $100 million.
Three months later, Spotify announced a podcast partnership with Harry and Meghan through their production company. “What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction,” the couple said in a statement, per CNN Business.
And in Mar. 2021, mental health startup BetterUp announced that Harry would become the company’s first chief impact officer. “I firmly believe that focusing on and prioritizing our mental fitness unlocks potential and opportunity that we never knew we had inside of us,” Harry wrote in the BetterUp blog post touting the news.
What’s Prince Harry’s wealth vs. Prince William’s?
In 2018, Money reported that William, Harry’s older brother, had a net worth between $30 million and $40 million, citing estimates from global wealth-tracking company Wealth-X. At the time, Wealth-X noted that William had $19 million in cash and an Augusta A109S Grand helicopter worth $11 million. These days, Celebrity Net Worth is sticking to the $30-million estimate.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge—William’s wife, better known stateside as Kate Middleton—also had a sizable net worth at the time. According to Money, her net worth was between $7 million and $10 million. Most of that fortune came from Party Pieces, her parents’ online party business, which was valued at $50 million in large part due to the royal connection, as the magazine added.
By comparison, Forbes reported in Feb. 2021 that Harry and Meghan had an estimated net worth of around $10 million. But that estimate came before Harry’s book deal with Penguin Random House. According to Page Six, Harry is believed to be earning a $20 million advance for his memoir, and though he said he’d donate the proceeds to charity, it’s not clear whether he’ll do the same with the advance.