Prince Harry and Meghan’s Netflix deal is being touted as an ‘unquantifiable’ and ‘unprecedented’ commercial opportunity but the Queen might have a thought or two about it
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moved to California earlier this year. The pair have founded a production company and signed an exclusive, multi-year agreement with Netflix. They will produce “impactful” films, TV shows, documentaries and children’s programs. Netflix, with its 193 million global subscriber base, offers a global platform to the ex-royals. Much like her character in the legal drama Suits, it appears that Meghan Markle wants to make it on her own. This time it will be in a different avatar, as a producer.
As the deal goes through the couple repaid the renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage that they became liable for when stepping down from their royal roles. Further, the reports suggest Harry and Meghan did not inform the Queen beforehand which stirred the Royal household. However, since the real-life royals are free to undertake any business opportunity as per Megxit’s Sandringham Summit settlement the Queen has no say in it. The Queen’s woes come from her eldest son Prince Andrew’s flop TV production career.
Harry And Meghan’s Hollywood Career
While the former Suits star has no plans to return full time to acting, the royal couple may appear on camera in documentaries. The two recently made headlines, with Markle providing the narration to wildlife documentary Elephant for Disney. Harry made a cameo in a Paralympics documentary film Rising Phoenix. In 2014, the Duke of Sussex founded Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style competitive event for wounded veterans.
Watch: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Sign Multiyear Deal With Netflix | TODAY
In a statement to AFP, the Duke and Duchess said, “Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope.”
“As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens.” The statement goes on to say that Netflix’s “unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.” Their first projects are believed to include an animated series on inspiring women and a nature documentary series.
Following their dramatic departure from the royal family, the couple moved to a Beverly Hills mansion in Los Angeles. They made news for helping underprivileged and chronically ill people with food supplies when news of the coronavirus pandemic first broke out. Meghan, whose mother is black, also spoke out against the brutal killing of unarmed African American man George Floyd in police custody in June.
Shortly after their move to Los Angeles, the pair got embroiled in a legal battle with paparazzi over what they saw as ‘invasion of privacy’. The Duke and Duchess accused tabloid photographers of taking photographs of their son Archie using drones. The pair have now moved into a new family home in an affluent Santa Barbara neighbourhood. Their new $14.7 million home is in Montecito, an hour from Malibu. The area is home to Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres amongst other celebrities.
Inside Sussex Royal’s Deal With Netflix
Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, have reportedly also been in talks with Disney, Apple and NBC Universal. With the growth of streaming platforms by giants like Disney, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and Peacock, Netflix has been challenged by aggressive competitors for viewership. Family programming is particularly important to Netflix, which has been accused of hyper sexualizing children in some marketing posters (Cuties).
Calling the deal ‘unprecedented,’ industry expert Jonathan Shalit, chairman of the talent agency InterTalent Right Group said, it would fund their new life in America which has considerable security costs, and the “neutral” stance of Netflix would not cause issues for the royal family in the UK. In an email to the New York Times, Shalit said, “The value of this signing to Netflix is unquantifiable…Never before has a real-life royal of this magnitude gone commercial and to Hollywood.”
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO and Chief Content Officer said, “Harry and Meghan have inspired millions of people all around the world with their authenticity, optimism and leadership…We’re incredibly proud they have chosen Netflix as their creative home, and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere.”
Watch: Ex-Royals in Hollywood: What Are Harry and Meghan’s Plans? | OSSA
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry surprised everyone in January 2020 with their decision to relinquish royal duties, become ‘financially independent’ and build a new life in North America. According to the New York Times, the news labelled Megxit, “triggered the most serious crisis for the British royal family since the death of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, in a car crash in 1997.”
The couple were finally granted their wish while they had to give up the public funding and couldn’t use their ‘Sussex Royal’ trademark. They were allowed to keep their titles, His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness. This led to much speculation about how they would fund their affluent lifestyle, which also involved major security expenses. The verdict on their departure was mixed, with millions of fans rallying to their support for being progressive and modern, while an equal number vilified them for their ‘unbecoming conduct’.
As expected, not everyone seems happy with the news of the Netflix deal. Many netizens took to Twitter to claim they were canceling their subscriptions after Meghan and Harry’s deal was announced. In a poll by Express.co.uk an overwhelming majority indicated they would refuse to watch the couple’s shows.
It remains to be seen whether the royal couple will be able to make an “impactful” career as Hollywood producers in their second coming.