When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the announcement that they were leaving their royal lives behind, the world was stunned. But members of the public weren’t the only ones reeling — the Royal Family wasn’t thrilled either.
Many of the Royals voiced their concerns to the couple before (and after) the surprise announcement, but Prince Charles had one grave warning about their finances that he knew couldn’t wait.
After their big announcement, one major consideration kept resurfacing for Harry and Meghan: money. The two have plenty of funds to blow through, but they’ll need a source of income to maintain that cash flow.
And the two aren’t poor to begin with. Princess Diana left Harry tens of millions after her death, and Meghan was earning about $450,000 a year for her role on Suits. But they have one additional place to turn to for some quick cash.
Prince Charles has reportedly considered transferring some money from the Duchy of Cornwall to help with the couple’s expenses during the transition. But it might be chump change compared to what they’re used to.
Up until now, the royal couple was receiving $6 million a year from Prince Charles. He hasn’t finalized how much he’ll be giving them now, but bet on it being much less than that. The Queen had other words for the couple, though.
See, once Harry and Meghan made their announcement, the Queen called Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Prince William in for a surprise meeting. And once she heard them out, she had a public announcement of her own to make.
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The Queen stated clearly that she supported Harry and Meghan’s choice to step down as public members of the Royal Family. But she, too, had some words about their financial situation.
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“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” read the Queen’s statement. But one Royal Family member was less than thrilled by the decision.
According to some sources, Charles was “livid” when he learned about the couple’s decision. Apparently, Charles blamed Meghan for pushing the move, and he had some concerns about the costs of their new life.
When Harry and Meghan move to Canada, they’ll need a new home and private security — all of which will cost millions. But their decision to be financially independent from the Crown has caused some controversy.
See, their big move has left some members of the public irked. To them, “leaving” the Crown but continuing to reap some of the benefits felt hypocritical. Still, Harry and Meghan have big plans for their financial future.
In 2019, Harry and Meghan left William and Kate’s organization, The Royal Foundation, to start their own: Sussex Royal. And now the couple has some big plans in store for their brand.
Under the umbrella of their Sussex Royal brand, Meghan Markle has already signed a voice over deal with Disney, they’ve launched their official website, and there are rumors floating around about a Netflix deal. But Charles had one warning for the couple.
A source close to the Royal Family reported that Charles warned Harry and Meghan not to be so freewheeling with their trademark, especially with the Sussex name attached to it.
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“There will be strict instructions on branding,” claimed one source. “For example, no one wants to see the Sussexes’ name on a tub of margarine.” Specifically, they want to prevent one key thing that happened after Diana’s death.
See, after Diana passed away, her memorial foundation started making some deals that didn’t reflect well on the Royal Family — like Diana-branded tubs of Flora margarine. Charles wanted to make sure something like that didn’t happen again.
Some people have believed up until now that Harry’s fraught relationship with William might have been the cause of his and Meghan’s departure, but this new information suggests it might have been something else entirely.
According to some sources, Harry and Charles got into an argument about the couple’s departure; Charles worried that Harry hadn’t thought his plans through fully. So Harry took things one step further.
When Harry tried to secure a meeting with the Queen, Charles’ advisers prevented it. That was when Harry knew he had no choice but to take their decision public on his own. But some members of the public aren’t wild about their future endeavors.
Back in June of 2019, Harry and Meghan officially filed the trademark for “Sussex Royal,” but in January of 2020, they received a “notice of threatened opposition.” Even their personal brand might be in jeopardy.
Although it likely won’t affect any of Meghan’s upcoming projects, this complaint is just another in a long string of setbacks for the Duchess of Sussex. And before her departure, some of the Windsors’ staff spoke up about her behavior.
Some staff members aired their grievances about the new boss, pointing to cultural miscommunications, which was the polite way of saying Meghan’s abrupt. Brits mince pies, not words. Meghan’s directness when speaking to employees was something the high society wasn’t used to.
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Word traveled throughout the royal woodwork that the disgruntled employees had given Meghan Markle an unflattering set of nicknames. The first, Duchess Difficult, was rather self-explanatory. The second, Duchess Me-Gain, was a comment on their perception that she’s always looking out for number one.
Meghan holds her staff to the same high level of expectation that she has for herself. The former actress realizes the value of her position and wants to pack as much into her schedule as possible to contribute to the royal legacy.
Her position is groundbreaking after all. As the first American and the first black woman in the British Royal family, she’s living every day as a paver of history. Meghan is hyper-aware of the importance of her representation for minorities who’d remain systematically blocked from such circles.
Anytime people get a new boss, there’s going to be smatterings of gossip. New management styles and personalities to understand can make workers tense and resentful. Now imagine being the new person in charge, and you’re expected to exude total perfection on the world stage. Anxious yet?
In falling in love with a prince, Meghan signed up for a life of luxury with limited control. For example, the wedding she’d always fantasized about had to fit within the frame of royal etiquette. She never got to call the shots typical of a bride.
When Meghan voiced her desire to wear a larger statement-making tiara on her walk down the aisle, her request was rolled back by the big dog, Queen Elizabeth herself. A source revealed her highness retorted, “she gets what tiara she’s given by me.”
Trying to bring a certain freshness to the ceremony in the most literal sense, Meghan floated the idea of installing air fresheners in St. George’s Chapel on her big day. That idea was slammed down faster than a cup of Twinings earl grey.
Despite her attempts to rebrand her role as a royal into something entirely unique, her reputation amongst the rest of the employees continued to suffer. Unnamed sources admitted it’s commonly said the worst job in the palace is working for Meghan.
The rumors are supported by a fairly high turnover rate. Meghan cycled through 5 personal aides since officially joining the royal family in 2018. Granted, some of those were pre-planned career moves; others scooted out the door quickly.
Amy Pickerill curtseyed out of her aide position shortly after the birth of Meghan and Harry’s son Archie. She’d given notice far in advance and planned to stay in touch with her boss and friend. Another trusted advisor parted ways with the family in the Age of Meghan.
Longstanding courtier Samantha “The Panther” Cohen exited her post after 17 years with the royal family. Her decision to leave was longstanding; she’d taken the spot with the Sussex camp to guide Meghan through her transition into nobility.
It was the hasty exit of Melissa Touabti from her personal assistant spot after 6 months that raised several eyebrows. According to court members in Meghan’s periphery, the Duchess and Melissa butted heads, which resulted in a tearful choice to bow out.
Personal assistants to Meghan started their days at 5 am, waking to an inbox full of emails listing an “incessant stream of ideas.” That’s right, Meghan Markle is the Don Draper of next generation of royals, hoping to squeeze in innovation in appropriately stylish ways.
Luckily, Meghan’s found several employees that share her level of passion and energy. A few sources mentioned Meghan’s frustration with the slow-moving normal of the royals. She wants to get her hands dirty and make some formative change.
Meghan’s perspective as a former showbiz figure and blogger rubbed off on the Windsors. Before she arrived, there was a strict no social media policy. Once an active online influencer, Meghan must have convinced somebody to wade into the 21st century because the House Sussex joined Instagram.
It helps that her husband is her biggest cheerleader. Castle insiders say Prince Harry acts as a vocal supporter of Meghan. He reportedly won’t allow any insinuations that Meghan’s desires are less than the top priority.
With her man by her side, Meghan continues to ignore the haters. Not engaging in late-night name googling or tabloid reading, Meghan stays unphased by the downpour of media criticism. Her close-knit circle of family and friends have carried her above the media smears.
Meghan has famous friends who’ve faced criticism as black women stamped with the label of a diva. Tennis legend Serena Williams befriended the Duchess after recognizing the drive to surpass people’s expectations. Both women share a deep love of traveling and joke about their addictions to hot sauce.
In her transition to public life, Meghan had to give up so much about the life she’d built for over 30 years. Friends like Serena and Beyonce share a similar perspective of chaotic level of fame, while allowing her to remember where she was before the cameras flashed.
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Growing up in Los Angeles, Meghan was surrounded by showbiz from a young age. After school, she’d hang out with her dad, Thomas Markle Sr., on the set of Married… With Children where he was the lighting director and director of photography.
Most evenings she spent on a bustling film set, but by day, her nose was to the grind at a textbook Catholic school: all girls, uniforms, the whole nine. But there, a somewhat nerdy Meghan found a true passion she’d develop for years…
Meghan’s school made the students tackle the dreaded skill of fourth graders everywhere: cursive writing. Though it’s fallen by the wayside in today’s education system, Meghan showed a knack for cursive and calligraphy in general.
Over the years, Meghan perfected her loopy penmanship. In fact, her writing was so skillful, she used it as an income source. In her spare time between acting jobs, she worked freelance, designing handwritten invitations for celebrities.
From a young age, Meghan was encouraged to speak her mind. After seeing a commercial by Procter & Gamble with the sexist tagline “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,” she took action with her best weapon: a pen.
With letters in hand addressed to Procter & Gamble, Hillary Clinton, lawyer Gloria Allred, and journalist Linda Ellerbee, Meghan marched to the mailbox. She didn’t have to wait long, because 1 month later, the company swapped “women” out for “people.” Her effective stand against sexist language led to her being featured on Nick News.
That tenacious spirit never left, either. When it came time to declare a major at Northwestern University, Meghan split her time between her two biggest interests: theater and international relations. It’s almost as if she was planning on being a royal from the start!
One of her first credits as an actress was on the popular game show Deal Or No Deal. Meghan was a “suitcase girl” and her job required unveiling which amount of money the contestant had lost out on by opening her case.
Meghan’s record shows her commitment to service, so her charitable nature isn’t just a show. After graduation, she spent time as an intern in the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. Despite how tempting a career in politics was, her heart belonged to acting.
Meghan scored her biggest role to date as Rachel Zane on the USA Network drama Suits. Not only was she a lead, but she truly connected with the character, a smart, unapologetic, go-getter.
Show writers took inspiration from Meghan’s personality and incorporated it into the show. A self-proclaimed “foodie,” of both the cooking and tasting variety, Meghan’s keen palate and love for all exotic cuisine are shared by her character Rachel Zane.
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Overnight, Meghan was launched into superstardom after accepting Prince Harry’s marriage proposal. Granted, she was in the public eye thanks to her starring role on the show Suits, but few knew her by her legal name — Rachel. Her full name is Rachel Meghan Markle.
Simmering tasty concoctions and doctoring up bland recipes was always one of Meghan’s favorite pastimes. Farm-to-table lifestyles and traditional recipes from around the globe stirred an idea to the surface. In 2018, she published her first cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook.
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But this cookbook wasn’t just your grandma’s special ziti. The Duchess spent time gathering recipes and cooking with the Hubb Community Kitchen, a vastly diverse group of local women who cooked for their community members affected by the Grenfell Tower fires in London.
Since she’s royalty, her cookbook faced high expectations. Meghan delivered a unique, heartfelt collection. Each recipe in the book came from all over the globe: North Africa, the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean regions, and all across Europe. Even sweeter, all the proceeds went to charity.
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Public service had been a bone-deep motivator for Meghan for years before entering the royal atmosphere. Back in 2014, as a counselor for the international charity One Young World, she spoke at a summit about gender equality and modern day slavery.
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Her charitable career picked up steam, and Meghan flourished in service. In 2016, she was named as an ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveled to Rwanda for a clean water initiative, and advocated for women’s rights.
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The Duchess’ enjoys eclectic fare when it comes to music. She admitted her tastes lean more towards indie groups. A few of her favorites last year were Janelle Monáe, the Crystal Fighters, and Maggie Rogers.
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In the peak of Suits popularity, Meghan was offered an opportunity to dabble as a fashion designer. The show filmed in Toronto, and a Canadian retailer, Reitmans, reached out to Meghan to bring a facelift to their brand. She collaborated on two collections in 2015 and 2016.
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Fans before her royalty days followed Meghan’s popular lifestyle blog The Tig. Though she’s since moved on to other endeavors, the site covered everything from beauty, food, and travel, to feminism and general positivity.
During downtime between takes, Meghan and her fellow Suits cast mates had a surprisingly normal ritual. They all got deeply invested in playing board games, mostly Apples to Apples. A glass of scotch or three later, the gang frequently found themselves giggling and shuffling cards into the wee hours.
No matter how packed her schedule, Meghan has always prioritized fitness. Her workout of choice would be a combo of yoga and running. Still, she’s not picky. Any activity enjoyed in the fresh outdoor air suits her just fine.
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A few years before she married Prince Harry, Meghan had a starstruck moment with everyone’s favorite human. At an LA dog shelter, leaning down to pet a pair of irresistible doggies, Meghan got a jolt when none other than Ellen Degeneres suggested she adopt both pets. So, of course, she had to!
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After getting hitched, Prince Harry and the newfound Duchess of Sussex made a somewhat amusing, yet embarrassing realization. It appears that they are cousins. Well, their family trees intersect way back in the 15th century. Still, the royal intermarrying jokes are bound to haunt them forever.
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Copycatting her royal look is pretty easy. When asked about her makeup routine, Meghan said she keeps things simple. Her go-to products are the classics: Nars blush, and Dior mascara.
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Somewhere in the middle of her seemingly endless schedule, Meghan squeezed in some incredible trips around the globe. Behind the wheel of a camper van, she took in the sites of New Zealand, pedaled her bike through Vietnam, and sailed the coast of Croatia.