explainer

How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will make their money now they've 'stepped back'.

On Wednesday afternoon, London time, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their intention to step down from their roles as senior members of the British Royal Family.

This will involve becoming financially independent, they explained, and splitting their time between England and North America.

Their announcement, however, left more questions than it answered.

Here are all the questions we have about their current financial income, and their future funding, answered.

How do Meghan Markle and Prince Harry currently earn money?

As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new website states, 95 per cent of their funding is derived from income allocated by Charles, The Prince of Wales.

The other five per cent comes from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant, which covers operating costs including the employment of members of their office. Up to now, this saw Prince Harry be given AUD $9.54 million annually from the Queen as well as $6 million in “non-official expenditure” and $1.9 million in staffing costs.

prince harry meghan markle canada
Image: Getty.

Under their new arrangements, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will "no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant".

It is understood that the new arrangements will still allow the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to have access to the aforementioned funds they receive from Prince Harry's dad, Prince Charles.

Furthermore, they will also continue to receive taxpayer money to fund their security by the Metropolitan Police.

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What personal wealth does Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have?

In terms of what money the couple have themselves, Prince Harry, 35, has his half of the AUD$24 million inheritance left behind by his mother, Princess Diana.

"He maybe has 20, 30 million pounds (which is close to AUD $60 million), and perhaps other investments as well," royal expert Marlene Koenig told Mamamia's daily news podcast, The Quicky.

Listen: The Quicky deep dive on what happens when Royals choose not to be Royals anymore. Post continues below.

Markle, who was a successful American actress prior to marrying Prince Harry,  also has a great deal of personal wealth.

According to BBC, Markle earned US$50,000 (AUD $72,000) per episode for Suits - a show the now 38-year-old was on since 2011 before quitting in 2017 with the announcement of her engagement. On top of this, Markle earned $114,000 annually from her now-defunct lifestyle website The Tig.

How will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry make an income?

On their new website, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote "they value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing."

For this reason, they said, they have decided to be "members of the Royal Family with financial independence".

"Their Royal Highnesses feel this new approach will enable them to continue to carry out their duties for Her Majesty The Queen, while having the future financial autonomy to work externally."

It is not clear as of yet what their 'external work' will entail.

David McClure, who has authored a book on the Royal family's finances, told BBC: "I suppose they could get money from writing books, a more likely source is from television. There has been talk about Harry and Meghan doing a deal with Oprah Winfrey, so that's a possible way of making money."

Rumours have been rife that Markle may return to acting. With the new arrangement, it is understood that she will be permitted to act once again. However royal experts have considered it unlikely she will return to her former career.

Other possibilities include relaunching her website The Tig and becoming a magazine contributor (in a similar vein to how she guest-edited Vogue in September last year).

As for Prince Harry, it is unclear what his future career prospects will involve.

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