A mere six months ago, Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle left their British royal titles behind and re-located to California in the United States. Now, they've officially announced their next, non-royal work effort. According to The New York Times, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have signed a huge, multiyear deal with Netflix under a yet-to-be-named production company.
The paper reports that the deal includes "documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children's programming." All the productions will be exclusive to the streaming platform.
"Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope," the couple said in an official statement to The New York Times. "As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us."
Reportedly, the deal mentions the duo's potential appearance on produced documentaries, which wouldn't be their first on-camera gigs. Markle, a former actress, played Rachel Zane on the successful American legal drama Suits from 2011 to 2017. She also more recently voiced the Disney+ documentary Elephant while her husband made a cameo in the Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, about the Paralympic Games.
No official statement has been made about the financial details of the deal, although The New York Times reports that "two executives involved in those discussions said representatives for the couple at one point were seeking a deal in the neighborhood of $100 million." But the momentousness of the news goes beyond the potential monetary compensation earned by the couple, no matter how large. This is the very first purely commercial effort carried forward by royals in recent history and, given the drama surrounding the duo's decision to effectively leave their royal titles behind and move to a different country—now even pursuing a business within it—the news has certainly made headlines.
Interestingly enough, it seems like the majority of Brits actually aren't paying that much attention to the announcement, at least according to a new poll conducted by Internet-based market research and data analytics firm YouGov. The survey queried 2,713 adults in Britain about their potential interest in watching the content that the former royals will release on Netflix. A whopping 64% of respondents said they were "not interested at all" while another 20% revealed they were "not very interested." Only 3% indicated their were "very interested" and 9% responded "fairly interested." Will an American audience be more sympathetic and fascinated by Prince Harry's and Markle's venturing into the entertainment business? We shall wait and see.