After Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced plans to quit their roles as senior royals thoughts have turned to how they will achieve their goal of being ‘financially independent.’
Since their wedding, Harry and Meghan have been living at Frogmore cottage – which they came under fire for spending £2.4million of taxpayers money on renovating – with a housekeeper and assistants to oversee the running of the 10 bedroom property.
The Queen currently pays grandsons Harry and William £5million a year from the £82million annual Sovereign Grant, which is funded by the taxpayer.
The brothers are also granted a further £3.16million each year in ‘non-official expenditure.’
In their statement released this evening, The Sussexes said as well as stepping down from royal duties, they would split their time between the UK and North America – meaning they could be cut off entirely by the Queen.
Despite retreating from the limelight it’s likely the couple will continue to need security and various assistants, so how will they foot the bill?
Before meeting Harry in 2016, Meghan was earning good money as the star of US legal drama Suits.
She’s said to have pocketed $50,000 an episode playing Rachel Zane. While Meghan also secured extra money through lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals.
According to reports, she once coined $80,000 for partnering with various brands including Canadian star Reitmans who she modelled for.
It’s estimated Meghan racked up a net worth of $5million before marrying a prince.
But Meghan won’t be able to return to Suits even if she wanted to as the series ended in July 2019.
While her co-star Patrick J Adams made a cameo in the final episode, Meghan did not make a return.
Suits creator Aaron Korsh admitted he didn’t even approach Meghan out of ‘respect’ for her royal role.
He told Deadline: “I thought about asking, and I thought about even using audio footage that we have to come up with something, and in the end I didn’t ask.”
Aaron added: “I just thought, I’m going to respect her new life and not put her in the position of having to ask. We decided not to put her in that position, so I never asked.”
As she announced her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017, Meghan revealed why she was giving up her acting career.
She told reporters: “I just see it as a change… It’s a new chapter, right? And also keep in mind I’ve been working on my show for seven years. So we were very, very fortunate to be able to have that sort of longevity on a series, and for me once we hit the 100 episode marker I thought, you know what, I have – I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work I have done there and now it’s time to, as you said work – work as a team with – with you,” gesturing to Harry.
She then said she was excited to work on more worthy causes.
“I think what’s been really exciting as we talk about the transition of this out of my career, but into the role, is that, as you said, the causes that have been very important to me I can focus even more energy on, because very early out of the gate I think you realise once you have access or a voice that people are going to listen to, with that comes a lot of responsibility which I take seriously.”
However, today it was revealed that Prince Harry and Meghan would step down from their duties as senior royals.
A statement posted to their social media page this evening read: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their announcement in a statement on their official Instagram this evening. They wrote: ‘After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.
“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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.
“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.
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.
“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”