Tell-All Book Puts Meghan And Harry’s $4M Lifeline On The Line

Prince Charles likes Meghan but initially chilly response to new biography is a stark reminder that their “independent” life still runs on family support.

When Meghan Markle and the former Prince Harry said goodbye to the royal family, they knew that it would cost them part of their income.

After all, you have to tow the queen’s line in order to remain in the royal household and receive sovereign funding. Leave the family, leave your piece of the family “business” behind.


However, the new book about the once-royal couple Finding Freedom shines an inadvertent light on how financially precarious their second act really is.


Unless Meghan starts acting again or Harry finds a job, virtually all of their remaining cash flow comes straight from his father, the legendarily prickly Prince Charles.

Charles decides how much support Harry receives from his private estate, which amounts to a perpetual trust fund he can allocate as he chooses.

There’s no rule determining how the income is split or what people are obligated to do to get their share. It’s strictly a matter of where Charles decides the money should go.

Stay on his good side, the cash keeps flowing. Alienate him, and it stops.

That’s a potential problem for Harry and Meghan if the book goes over badly.

Freedom from family feelings


Every family has its emotional pain points. Among the truly wealthy, the tension can become more intense because satellite relatives don’t have as many independent resources for anchoring their identities and building their lives.

When you don’t have a career, you need to look elsewhere for validation. And when the family pays the bills, you need to make sure the people who write the checks are happy.

That’s the world Harry grew up in and wants to escape now. Unfortunately, rejecting his title only liberated him from 5% of his royal upkeep.


Another $4 million a year comes straight from his father, who has always been the person Harry needs to keep happy in order to maintain the financial status quo as well as the emotional balance.

Charles was reportedly heartbroken to hear that the kids were leaving for America and a little cold when the book came out. He apparently recognizes that they didn’t feel welcome in the UK, but he isn’t happy.

That unhappiness might not add up to anything. But it’s still a much more fraught and tenuous situation than simply having your own money and the means to make more.

Harry and Meghan had the confidence to flee because, among other things, they believed they could make something on their own.

After all, she’s a top-tier TV actress who could clear $50,000 a week before the wedding deepened her allure. Do a 20-episode season and that’s $1 million a year.


And Harry had plans to get into social media somehow, become a lifestyle brand or maybe get into venture capital. Whatever the plan was, the COVID quarantines have slowed progress to a crawl.

They’ve been in Los Angeles since mid-March, living in Tyler Perry’s mansion. I don’t think they could get back to Canada at this point without bending a lot of border rules.

TV production is disrupted. Social media cash just isn’t flowing. They’re famous and have famous friends, but they still need a way to float until someone offers them a lucrative contract.

For all we know, they’ve been working hard behind the scenes to start something new and exciting. Let’s hope so.

Otherwise, they’re still relying on her savings and his checks from dad. That probably isn’t fun, but it’s got to be easier than finding a job right now.


People are wondering whether they had any input on the book. They aren’t getting any of the publishing income, but to some it feels a little too much like an insider account.

Critics can say they could have talked their friends out of participating in interviews or being quoted. Some of the material definitely paints Charles and other relatives in a less than flattering light.

People value their privacy and can nurse hurt feelings for years. Charles has a reputation for both traits.

Would it have been better to discourage the book or actively participate to make sure the family was portrayed well? Either would probably be preferable to simply shrugging it off.

Harry wants to be taken seriously. That means managing his image and public relationships. Even if there’s zero threat to the $4 million a year he gets from dad, this book sets the tone for his future independent celebrity career.


He can choose right now what kind of star he wants to be as an adult. Maybe that means being forthright about how he feels about dad . . . love or hate, he can own those feelings and their consequences.

I hope they’re friendly. I hope Charles loves the book. We’ll just have to see.

And if you have a client where the kids are in a similar position, beware of fireworks.


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