How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry earn their millions: from Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan and Spotify podcast Archetypes, to the duke’s Spare memoir and an inheritance from Princess Diana

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry released their Netflix docuseries in December. Photo: @sussexroyal/Instagram

Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship came out to the public six years ago, their love life has been at the epicentre of endless royal-related headlines.

Things only got worse when the British prince and the American actress stepped down from royal duties in 2020 to move to the US and become “financially independent”. They went on to join Oprah Winfrey in a widely televised interview where the Duchess of Sussex opened up about her mental health struggles during her time in the palace … among other things. The cherry on top? This December, the duo released their highly anticipated two-part tell-all Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, a few months after Markle launched her Spotify podcast Archetypes.
That’s a lot of projects! So, how do they earn their money these days – and spend it?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to be ‘financially independent’

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, leave after visiting Canada House in January 2020, in London. Photo: AP

In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared their decision to be “financially independent” from the royal family.

“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support her majesty the queen,” their January 2020 statement read. “We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to the queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”

In the couple’s interview with Winfrey in March 2021, Prince Harry said the primary reasons for their leaving their royal roles was a “lack of support and lack of understanding” from both the media and the royal family.

Harry said that the royal family cut him off financially

After much media coverage of a candid interview together, Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry have launched an Apple TV+ series on mental health, now being followed up by a sequel. Photo: Harpo Productions

Harry told Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 that the royal family cut him off financially after he and Markle “stepped back” from being senior royals.

Harry said he stopped receiving any financial support from his family in “the first quarter of 2020”, the same time that the couple released their statement that they were working towards becoming financially independent.

The offices of Prince William and Kate Middleton continued to be “paid for from his royal highness’s private income”, according to King Charles’ financial report from 2021.

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But Harry and Meghan received a ‘substantial sum’ from Charles

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, with Prince Charles, front, as the family members leave the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London, in March 2020. Photo: AP

A senior Clarence House spokesperson told the BBC that Harry and Meghan received a “substantial sum” from Charles to make their transition to financial independence easier. However, the spokesperson added the couple officially stopped receiving funding in the summer of 2020.

There’s no officially recognised figure for what Prince Harry and Meghan are worth in 2022. In 2020, the couple were worth at least US$30 million, citing 2018 estimates from, which were made before the couple signed their Netflix deal.

In February 2021, several months after the Netflix deal was announced, Forbes put their estimated net worth at US$10 million.

Harry and Meghan have also relied on inheritance from his mother’s estate

Diana, Princess of Wales, with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry at Highgrove, in 1988. Photo: Handout

“I’ve got what my mum left me and without that, we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” Harry told Oprah Winfrey in March 2021. “She saw it coming, and I certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process.”

Prince Harry inherited an estimated US$10 million from Princess Diana’s estate after her death on August 31, 1997.

Harry earned US$50,000 a year from his job as a captain in the British Army

Britain’s Prince Harry makes his early morning preflight checks at the British controlled flight-line at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, where he was serving as an Apache Helicopter Pilot/Gunner with 662 Squad Army Air Corps, in December 2012. Photo: AFP

Prince Harry served in the army for 10 years, including service in Afghanistan.

Meghan Markle had an estimated net worth of US$5 million

Actress Meghan Markle attends Madewell, Alexa Chung & InStyle celebrate the launch of The Alexa Chung For Madewell Fall 2011 Collection at Chateau Marmont in 2011, in Los Angeles, California. Photo: WireImage

Before she left acting to join the royal family, Markle reportedly earned US$50,000 for each episode of Suits and a combined US$360,000 from her roles in the 2010 films Remember Me and The Candidate, per Town & Country magazine.

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Markle ran the successful lifestyle blog The Tig

Meghan Markle used to run a blog called The Tig. Photo: @archewell_hm/Instagram

She made around US$80,000 a year from sponsorships and endorsement deals. She shut the blog down after getting engaged to Harry.

Markle is also a published New York Times bestselling children’s book author

Meghan Markle reading her children’s book The Bench. Photo:@_meghanmarkle_belgique/Instagram

The Bench, inspired by a Father’s Day poem she wrote for Prince Harry, was published in June 2021.

The children’s book spoke about the relationship between a father and son from the perspective of a mother. The book featured illustrations by Christian Robinson and became a New York Times bestseller within a week of its release.

According to British media, Markle potentially got a US$700,000 advance for The Bench.

Prince Harry’s autobiography Spare will be released on January 10, 2023

The cover of Spare, Prince Harry’s memoir, published by the Random House Group. Photo: AP

The book’s title refers to the “spare” title he received as the brother of the heir to the British throne and the fact that he is likely to never become king. Harry’s brother, Prince William, is the eldest son of King Charles and first in line to be king.

The synopsis reads: “It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow – and horror. As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling – and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last.”
Britain’s Prince Charles casts a concerned glance towards his sons Prince William, left, and Prince Harry as they wait for the coffin of Princess Diana to be loaded into a hearse outside Westminster Abbey in London, in 1997. Photo: AP

“With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief,” the synopsis continued.

Prince Harry has pledged to donate the proceeds of the book to charity and has already donated US$1.5 million to Sentebale, a charity that supports children and young people affected by HIV and AIDS.

In September 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan founded their own production company

Harry & Meghan part one was released on December 8. Photo: Netflix

They signed a deal with Netflix reportedly worth US$100 million.

“Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” the couple said in a statement. “As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.”

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Their Netflix documentary series, Harry & Meghan, which premiered on December 8, follows the couple as they navigate post-royal life. They shared intimate details of their life together and new photographs in the series’ first three episodes.

Meghan and Harry also received US$30 million for a three-year podcasting deal with Spotify

Archewell Audio, the podcast by Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Photo: Handout
The couple did not produce any content for the platform in 2021, which reportedly led Spotify producers to step in, according to Forbes. Markle has since released her own Spotify podcast, Archetypes.

“Archetypes is the podcast where we explore and subvert the labels that try to hold women back. Here’s where we dismantle them with action,” the podcast’s description reads.

Meghan and Harry repaid the US$2.9 million cost of renovating their home

A general view of Frogmore Cottage on the Home Park Estate, the home of Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Photo: dpa

After stepping back from their roles as senior royals, Meghan and Harry repaid the US$2.9 million (£2.4 million), cost of renovating their home, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

The cost of renovating the home was originally paid for by British taxpayers through the Sovereign Grant, according to the BBC. The couple paid back the money in 2022 after signing the deal with Netflix.

They bought their first home together in July 2020

Santa Barbara, California’s hillside homes. Photo: Getty Images

They bought their first home together, an estate in Santa Barbara, California, in July 2020 for US$15 million.

According to Vogue, the pair settled in the private and exclusive neighbourhood of Montecito. The publication also reported that, according to property records, the royal couple bought their 14,500 sq ft home for US$15 million. They put down US$5 million, leaving them with a US$10 million mortgage, Forbes reported.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their family home in July of this year,” a spokesperson for the couple said in August 2020. “They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbours, as well as for them as a family.”

The couple stayed at the Carlyle Hotel on a trip to New York City in September 2021

The Hotel Carlyle in New York was a popular pit stop for Princess Diana. Photo: AFP

On a trip to New York City in September 2021, the couple stayed at the swanky Carlyle Hotel, where Princess Diana was a frequent guest.

The couple dined at the hotel’s famous Bemelmans Bar. The two-bedroom royal suite, where Princess Diana reportedly stayed during her trips to New York, runs for a whopping US$8,000 a night, according to the Observer.

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Meghan and Harry have received criticism for their use of private jets to travel

The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, leave Windsor Castle in a convertible car after their wedding in Windsor, England, to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House, hosted by the Prince of Wales, in May 2018. Photo: AP
In December, Markle travelled by private jet for the second time in a week to attend an awards ceremony with Prince Harry in New York. She was previously seen boarding a private jet in Indianapolis after appearing at a female empowerment event in the city, according to the Independent. Their use of private jets has raised questions about environmental impact, The Times reported.

When asked about his family’s use of private jets in 2019, Harry said, “I spend 99 per cent of my life travelling the world by commercial. Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure my family are safe, and it’s genuinely as simple as that.” He added, “For me it’s about balance.”

Prince Harry and Meghan also pay for their own security

Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, reacts as she, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Queen Camilla and King Charles attend the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, on September 19. Photo: Reuters

However, the couple is currently fighting for official police protection while in the United Kingdom.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK,” according to a statement released in January.

Meghan and Harry appeared to receive official royal security protection when they travelled to the UK for Prince Philip’s and later Queen Elizabeth’s funerals.

This article originally appeared on Insider.
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  • It’s been a busy year for the royal couple, releasing Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan and Spotify podcast Archetypes – Harry’s memoir Spare will be out in early 2023
  • While Kate Middleton and Prince William continue to be paid through King Charles’ private income, the Suits actress and her royal hubby are making a decent income elsewhere