Mega Netflix deal gives Harry, Meghan new-found independence

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have signed a mega Netflix deal that will set up their financial future away from the Royal Family's purse strings.

The couple, who officially stepped away from senior royal duties this year, now have a new line of cash that will fund their security bill and mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara.

The Netflix deal, estimated to be worth $A340 million, will be to produce shows that "give hope".

Meghan, who became world famous with her role as Rachel Zane in Suits, will not return to acting under the deal.

The couple said in a statement they would make inspirational television shows for the streaming platform.

"Our lives, both independent of each other, and as a couple have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience, and the need for connection," the couple said.

"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."

The former royal couple, who are not allowed to use their titles, were among the hottest names in town among television producers desperate to turn content into new subscriber revenue.

 

Prince Harry and Meghan also had talks with Apple and Disney, both of which have recently launched streaming services to take on Netflix.

Meghan had done some voiceover work for Disney, after Prince Harry spruiked her services to the company's boss at the premiere of The Lion King in Leicester Square, London, in July 2019.

Video that emerged of Prince Harry speaking to Bob Iger raised questions about the then senior royal's independence.

Now the couple have split from the royal family they were able to make their own money, which was one of the main motivations for them stepping back from their senior jobs.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix's co-chief executive and chief content officer, said in a statement: "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."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Picture: Queen's Commonwealth Trust
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Picture: Queen's Commonwealth Trust

Netflix now has 192 million subscribers, compared with 20 million in 2011.

The company was worth $A331 billion, making it now more powerful than Hollywood movie studios.

Former US president Barack Obama did a similar deal with Netflix in 2018 for a series of documentaries with his wife Michelle.

Prince Harry and Meghan paid $20 million for a mansion in Santa Barbara, about 90 minutes north of Los Angeles.

The couple took out a $13 million mortgage on the 16-bathroom property, which they will now be easily able to cover.

stephen.drill@news.co.uk

Originally published as Mega Netflix deal gives Harry, Meghan new-found independence


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