Two years after quitting royal life and the UK, Harry is said to be “very happy” with his so-called Megxit.
While his relatives have been plagued by scandal and are enduring another Covid-hit winter here, the Duke and wife Meghan have raked in millions and embraced a new lifestyle at their Montecito mansion.
Majesty magazine’s editor-in-chief, Ingrid Seward, said: “I am hearing that, despite it all, Harry is very happy with his lot.
“He has managed to break away from the ‘toxic’ royal life, which is what his mother always wanted to do but was never able to.”
Here, Ingrid and top showbiz agent Jonathan Shalit give their verdicts on the royal renegades…
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Getty Images for Global Citizen)
In March’s poorly timed chat with Oprah Winfrey, Harry said they quit the Firm after being “literally cut off financially” and told they would be stripped of their personal protection officers.
Speaking while Prince Philip was being treated in hospital, the couple said they were upset about the lack of a title for Archie and claimed a senior royal had been concerned “about how dark his skin might be.”
Ingrid said: “Their comments hurt the Queen and caused their popularity to plunge.” She said the Queen’s response that “recollections may vary” tells you everything you need to know.
The couple signed a four-book deal with Penguin Random House, reportedly worth £29million, with Meghan writing a “wellness guide” and Harry promising an “explosive” tell-all tome.
In June, the Duchess’s children’s book The Bench, inspired by a Father’s Day poem she wrote for Harry, was released.
Penguin Random House via REUTERS)
Jonathan suspects the couple have made a “comfortable eight-figure sum” – but Ingrid points out they have huge outgoings and may not be as wealthy as people assume.
The couple are the royals’ Smashie and Nicey and just love a bit of charidee – they even asked for charitable donations instead of wedding gifts.
The Sussexes have a non-profit organisation called Archewell, which aims to“build a better world, one act of compassion at a time”.
And they were seen wearing masks as they delivered meals to residents in LA need during the pandemic.
Jonathan, of InterTalent Rights Group, said charity was important to Meghan before she became a royal, adding: “I remember thinking how she had some of the same attributes of Princess Diana – and that was long before she met Prince Harry.”
Some felt Meghan’s legal win over a Sunday newspaper after it published part of a 2018 letter to her father Thomas Markle was hollow, as her honesty was called in question.
After insisting she did not help the authors of the couple’s unofficial biography, she apologised for not remembering she had authorised her then press secretary, Jason Knauf, to brief writers.
Jonathan said the couple’s actions were “justified” given the legal decisions. He said: “They’re no longer funded by the taxpayer, it’s their right to do as they wish.”
UK Press via Getty Images)
Film and TV
Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions has signed a multi-million deal with streaming giant Netflix but it is unclear how much they are being paid.
A series called Heart of Invictus, about the Invictus Games, is the first project in the pipeline and will follow wounded veterans competing in the Paralympics-style competition Harry founded in 2014.
The couple’s Archewell Audio venture signed a separate deal for Spotify podcasts, said to be worth £18m, last year. But despite promising a range of content, little has been produced so far.
I believe this will be an even better year for Harry and Meghan. Meghan feels she has found her voice and she is determined to make her mark on the world.
Harry says she “does everything at 60 miles an hour” and I would not be surprised if she starts to pursue her political ambitions in the US this year.
Harry will be cautious about what he says in his forthcoming autobiography. But because it is Harry saying it, it will be sensational.
Will they take part in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations? It would look churlish if they were excluded – but how much they will be involved remains to be seen.