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Meghan and Harry face pitfalls becoming financially independent, experts suggest

The couple’s combination of Hollywood glamour and royalty will generate huge interest in the corporate world.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become financially independent when they leave the royal family (Simon Dawson/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become financially independent when they leave the royal family (Simon Dawson/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become financially independent when they leave the royal family (Simon Dawson/PA)

How the Duke and Duchess of Sussex earn “clean money” and become financially independent is likely to be the most difficult element of their future plans, experts suggest.

Some commentators have argued the existing model of royal wage earners such as the Queen’s grandchildren Peter Phillips and princesses Beatrice and Eugenie could be the example they follow.

But Harry and Meghan are unlikely to want to be constrained by a nine-to-five existence and it is known the duchess sees herself as a “business entrepreneur” alongside her other public roles as an actor and women’s rights activist.

Public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski said there were pitfalls ahead for the couple, adding: “The problem is how do they get what we call clean money.

Harry and Meghan
Harry and Meghan will have to tread the difficult path of earning money but not being exploited themselves (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

“Because there will be meat for the media if they are sponsored by a famous watch company and turn up at a royal event wearing that watch, or take a flight on a new airline route, or get hypnotised by some odd person who wants to be associated with them and they’ve got funny – not clean – money.

“So that’s going to be the challenge, how they balance the money and the funding they want from the corporate world against still having the sheen of the royal family. It’s a difficult thing to navigate, to keep credibility for everything you do.”

Reports have suggested the Sussexes may follow the lead of their famous friends Barack and Michelle Obama, the former US president and his wife, and their counterparts Bill and Hillary Clinton who have capitalised on their time as international figures.

The American statesmen and their wives signed book deals reportedly worth millions, describing their time in office, life stories and political ideas.

Barack and Michelle Obama
The Sussexes may follow in the footsteps of Barack and Michelle Obama (Chris Jackson/PA)

With her combination of royalty and Hollywood glamour, Meghan would be highly prized by any publisher wanting a tome about her time at the centre of the monarchy or even her thoughts about topics close to her heart, such as gender politics and female empowerment.

The well-paid lecture circuit is also available and may better suit Harry, an accomplished speaker who, with his Army training in leading others and experience of appearing on stages across the world, could become an in-demand motivational speaker.

Meghan’s defunct lifestyle blog The Tig could be revived to give her a platform to talk about everything from fashion to food and would attract advertising.

There could be an ethical dimension to their work, with the couple signing up to financial projects or endorsements that promote a cause or highlight an issue that chimes with their own beliefs.

The duchess has already begun her life in the commercial world narrating a new Disney film about a family of elephants and their journey across Africa available to stream from April 3.

Harry chats to Disney boss Robert A Iger while Meghan greets Beyonce at a film premiere
Harry chats to Disney boss Robert Iger while Meghan greets Beyonce at a film premiere where the duke told Mr Iger his wife did voiceovers (Niklas Halle’n/PA)

She will not receive a payment – Disney will make a donation to the wildlife organisation Elephants Without Borders supported by Harry – but it will be a calling card to other global entertainment companies.

The couple faced criticism after video footage emerged of Harry at the premiere of The Lion King in London last July, praising Meghan’s ability to do voiceover work to the then head of Disney Bob Iger.

Harry and Meghan received the majority of the funding for their public duties, and some of their private costs, from the Prince of Wales, who paid the expenses out of the multimillion-pound income from his private Duchy of Cornwall estate.

It is thought Charles will continue to offer some financial assistance to his son and daughter-in-law.

Meghan has reportedly kept her Hollywood agent, lawyer and business manager so there is a team in the wings to put into place any financial plans the Sussexes devise.

PA