Ever since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were stepping back from life as senior royals and would no longer receive public funds, speculation has been rife about how they will make money – with everything from Netflix deals to book contracts potentially on the table. Considering Meghan's background as an actress, there's also the possibility that she might return to Hollywood in some capacity. How other members of the royal family have approached their finances over the years varies, depending on factors such as whether they have a title and their place in the line of succession. Read on to find out more…
The Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton set a precedent as the first royal bride with a university degree, having met her husband at St Andrews University. Before marrying Prince William, she worked part-time as an accessories buyer for the high street store Jigsaw. She also worked for her parents' successful party supplies and decorations company, Party Pieces. Since marrying William, however, she has been a full-time royal, representing the Queen on both official visits and overseas tours.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's daughters Beatrice and Eugenie have never been working members of the royal family. Although they attend events in support of their grandmother, the Queen, such as Trooping the Colour, they each have jobs. Beatrice is vice president of partnerships and strategy at Afiniti, an artificial intelligence software firm, while Eugenie is a director at art gallery Hauser & Wirth. Since they are HRHs, it is likely they would have to consult the Lord Chamberlain before taking on any new business engagements, but as Meghan and Harry are giving up theirs, they will have more freedom in that respect.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex
Prince Edward and Sophie struggled to combine their business lives with royal duties. Edward ran television production firm Ardent, which focused on royal family history, but reportedly clashed with his brother the Prince of Wales over Ardent's attempt to film Prince William during his time at St Andrews. The Countess, meanwhile, chaired public relations firm R-JH but in 2001, she was secretly taped by a tabloid reporter posing as a sheikh, who tried to obtain information from her about the government and her family. Stricter guidelines on royal business activities were introduced as a result and the pair became full-time royals in 2002.
The Duke of York
Prince Andrew receives an unknown payment each year from the Queen's £21.7 million annual Duchy of Lancaster income. He has also profited from property, selling the Sunninghill Park mansion the Monarch gave him on the occasion of his wedding to Sarah Ferguson for £3 million over its £12 million asking price. A newspaper report claimed the Duke had conflicts of interest between multi-millionaire property developer David Rowland and his role as the UK's special representative for international trade and investment, but Buckingham Palace strongly denied that he exploited his role. Following reports of his friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein, which he called a "major disruption" to the royal family, Andrew has stepped back from public life.
Zara and Mike Tindall
The Queen's granddaughter Zara Tindall is a champion equestrian, winning a silver medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012. She has no royal title, leaving her free to make commercial deals, including brand ambassador arrangements with Land Rover, Rolex, iCandy prams and clothing brand Musto. She also has a range of equestrian-inspired jewellery from Calleija. Her husband Mike, a former England rugby player, has pursued television opportunities since his retirement from the sport, including appearing on The Jump, Bear Grylls: Mission Survive and alongside his wife on Top Gear in 2019.
The Queen's eldest grandson and sister of Zara Tindall has had a varied career, previously working for the Royal Bank of Scotland and for Formula One in Hong Kong. He now runs the UK branch of events and sponsorship agency Sports and Entertainment Ltd (SEL), and it was recently revealed that he has also appeared in an advert for milk in China! He was initially criticised when his company organised the Patron's Lunch street party for the Queen's 90th birthday without allowing bids from other businesses, but it was revealed they did so on a not-for-profit basis.
Lady Kitty Spencer
Harry and William's cousin (and Princess Charlotte lookalike) Lady Kitty Spencer isn't subject to royal rules because she's a relative of the Windsors rather than a royal herself. That means Diana, Princess of Wales's niece is free to follow business opportunities as she wishes, which has seen the 29-year-old beauty pursue a modelling career and, like Peter Phillips, advertise milk in China.
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