Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have to wait a while before they pop the
bubbly to celebrate their big new venture.
Royal officials still need to “examine” the reported $150 million new Netflix mega-deal the couple have bagged themselves after it was agreed the palace would have approval of any new commercial ventures the couple took on.
News that the Sussexes had landed the multi-year deal emerged this week and according to The New York Times, it will see them being involved in the making of documentaries, films, scripted shows and children’s programmes.
They have already founded a yet-to-be-named production company.
However according to a palace source, any profit-oriented plans the Sussexes take are “subject to discussion”.
“Harry and Meghan did leave as working members of the family with everyone's best wishes and it is sincerely hoped they find the happiness that appeared to be lacking in their lives,” a source says.
“But it goes without saying any deals they are making will be scrutinised by the royal household. Under the terms of their [Megxit] deal to forgo their royal duties, they agreed any commercial deals would be subject to discussion.”
The aim of Megflix – as the venture has been dubbed – is to share “inspirational programming”, the pair said in a statement.
“Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” they added. “As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.”
are expected to make content on mental health, a topic close to Harry’s heart,
an animated series about women, a nature documentary and shows on community
service, something Meghan is particularly passionate about.
They added that Netflix’s “unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action”.
Industry heavyweights believe their latest move is pure gold. Professor Jonathan Shalit, chairman of InterTalent, the UK's leading talent management agency, says it should solve all their money issues.
“Of course, they have to deliver but they are both bright, intelligent young people.
“Netflix isn’t driven by ratings – it's more about the portfolio they offer. Meghan and Harry will be appealing to subscribers in the same way Barack and Michelle Obama did.
“I think it's an equally brilliant deal for both the couple and Netflix. It also solves their financial problem overnight.”
Award-winning British TV producer Gub Neal said he thought the Sussexes’ move is a good one for both the couple and the streaming service.
“From a branding point of view Harry and Meghan are kind of woke and there is a lot of appetite for them.”
The Netflix news comes after they were reportedly offered a seven-figure deal to produce podcasts for Spotify – and again there’s an Obama connection.
The music streaming giant is hoping to sign the
Sussexes following the success of The Michelle Obama podcast, which launched
Sources told the Mirror money is “no object” for Spotify and Meghan would be able to “more or less name her price”.
“The duke and duchess have been on their hit list for a while and a detailed proposal is set to be presented to Meghan's US agent in a matter of weeks,” an insider says.
The Obamas factor a lot in Harry and Meghan’s vision for the future, sources say.
America’s former first couple have found considerable success by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which bagged a deal with Netflix to produce films and doccies about race, class and civil rights.
“The Obamas have found huge commercial success without actually looking like they are getting their hands dirty, to put it bluntly, and retaining their popularity,” a source says.
“In fact, it is fair to say their star has soared since leaving the White House, particularly Michelle’s, and this is something Meghan admires very, very much.”
In January Harry and Meghan reportedly met up with Michelle and Barack to talk about their future plans.
Since then they’ve signed up to the same high-profile public speaking agency, the Harry Walker Agency in New York, that they are with.
In January journalist Susannah Butter explained that the duchess, whose friendship with Michelle stretches back to 2018 when they first had talks in the UK about boosting girls’ education, has “long admired Michelle”.
“Her experience resonates with her.”
“It is Michelle who has given Meghan confidence and a blueprint as she and Prince Harry make their historic break from the royal family.”
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, express.co.uk, standard.co.uk, nypost.com