Prince Harry and Meghan Markle explained the logistics behind their bombshell decision to achieve "financial independence"

By Sophie Dodd
January 08, 2020 05:44 PM
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are clarifying how they will achieve financial independence after announcing their bombshell decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” in 2020.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave insight into their current financial situation and explained how it “will take time to transition in consultation with other senior members of the Royal Family” on their website, SussexRoyal.com.

They specified that they will “no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant,” making them “members of the Royal Family with financial independence.”

The taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant, which is described as “the annual funding mechanism of the monarchy that covers the work of the Royal Family in support of HM The Queen including expenses to maintain official residences and workspaces,” has covered five percent of the cost of The Duke and Duchess’ official office expenses since 2019.

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Their unprecedented announcement states that “Their Royal Highnesses prefer to release this financial tie.”

“They value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing,” they wrote, adding that financial freedom is “something they look forward to.”

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While the Sovereign Grant makes up five percent of the funding for their office, the remaining 95 percent comes from an income set aside by Prince Charles, “generated through the Duchy of Cornwall.”

In order to achieve financial independence, Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, only need to relinquish their tie to the funding from the Sovereign Grant. They assured the public that “public funding has never been used, nor would it ever be used” for their private expenses, nor have they received any tax privileges.

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They will continue to pay privately for any travel and expenses undertaken in their private time.

A May 2019 piece from Money estimated Meghan’s net worth to be around $5 million thanks to her work on Suits and previous acting jobs. Harry’s, however, is seemingly somewhere between $25 and $40 million, a piece of what Forbes reports is the royal family’s net worth of $88 billion. It’s unclear, however, if Harry’s decision to step back will affect his current wealth.

In their Q&A, the Duke and Duchess stressed that they “remain dedicated to maximising Her Majesty’s legacy both in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth,” and will continue to support their patronages in addition to expanding their charity work.

Harry and Meghan are not the first members of the Royal Family to take on work outside of their royal duties: they acknowledged that “there is a precedent for this structure” which currently applies to other title-holding members of the Royal Family who also earn an income while supporting the monarchy.

“Their Royal Highnesses are hopeful that this change is in the best interest for all and look forward to carrying out their duties to the monarch as well as their charitable work with financial autonomy,” they wrote.