It was only a matter of time before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Netflix deal was ‘scrutinized’ by the royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they founded their own production company to develop programming for the streaming giant on Wednesday, September 2, but it seems the decision may still be “subject to discussion,” according to a royal insider.
Meghan, 39, and Harry, 38, have worked on a handful of media projects since announcing their plan to step back from their roles as senior royals in January 2020. For example, Suits alum Meghan made her return to acting as the voice on a Disney+ film, Elephant, which premiered on the platform on April 3. But their $150 million deal with Netflix is, by far, their biggest move in the streaming industry yet. When it comes to the palace’s stance on the exciting agreement, however, it seems that royal officials are going to be inspecting the details rather carefully.
“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 told The Mirror. “However, it goes without saying any deals they are making will be scrutinized by the royal household.”
The royal insider continued, “Under the terms of their deal to forgo their royal duties, they agreed any commercial deals would be subject to discussion. This deal with Netflix, any speaking engagements or other corporate work are examples. Both the Royal Family and senior courtiers will be aware of how this looks to the public, especially as the couple have not yet paid back the £2.4million they promised to refund to the taxpayer for Frogmore Cottage, which will be their UK base.”
As far as Meghan and Harry’s Frogmore Cottage costs, statements from Buckingham Palace confirmed that the royal couple had already begun their repayment plan in May of 2020—and there’s no doubt that this multi-million dollar Netflix deal will soften the blow. So let’s hope that Her Majesty and senior royal advisers give this Netflix deal the go-ahead. If all goes according to plan, the Sussexes will be bringing documentaries, docuseries, children’s programming, feature films, and scripted series to Netflix.
“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,” Meghan and Harry said in a statement. “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.”
The couple, who share 1-year-old son Archie, added that “making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens.” Meghan and Harry also extended their thanks and excitement to Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-chief executive and chief content officer.
“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,” Sarandos said in a statement of his own. Let’s just hope the royal household is on board, too.