The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s “unprecedented” Neflix deal has bought them financial freedom and saved the royal family from potential embarrassment, an industry expert has said.
Harry and Meghan could earn more than 250 million dollars (£190m) under their agreement with the streaming service, according to Jonathan Shalit, chairman of the talent agency InterTalent.
He told the PA news agency the deal was “unprecedented” and 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.
The industry figure tweeted the agreement was a three- to seven-year deal adding “Estimate Harry & Meghan will have signing fee of between 50 & 100 million US dollars. With participation they could earn 250 million US dollars plus.”
Mr Shalit said: “I think it’s a very elegant way to solve a serious problem, because the challenge that Meghan and Harry have got is on a number of fronts.
“So financially, how do they look after themselves because the costs of living in Santa Barbara are considerable for them particularly with the security needs they have.
“So having Netflix behind them, they have a massive financial backer paying the kind of money where they can relax financially.”
Harry and Meghan have followed in the footsteps of other global celebrities like former president Barack Obama and wife Michelle in signing a deal with Netflix.
— Jonathan Shalit OBE (Hon Prof) (@jonathanshalit) September 2, 2020
The couple have realised their ambition to earn money and champion causes close to their heart with their lucrative contract.
It has given them the creative freedom to make a range of “content that informs but also gives hope” they have said, from documentaries and scripted series, to features and children’s programming via a production company they have set up.
The duchess, who found fame starring in the popular drama Suits, will not be returning to acting but the couple are likely to narrate or appear in some of the programmes they will make.
Mr Shalit, a visiting professor at Henley Business School, added: “It’s very clear that Megan and Harry don’t want to embarrass the royal family.
“They don’t want to cause problems.
“And some of the potential partners they could have had, could have caused problems but working with Netflix, which is totally objective and neutral, that doesn’t cause a problem.”
Harry and Meghan have recently bought an £11 million house in the celebrity hotspot of Santa Barbara following their move from the UK.
They made California their home just before the coronavirus lockdown began in March following their decision to give up being working royals so they could earn money and have more freedom.