Prince Harry and his bride Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have just signed a huge, multiyear production deal with Netflix. The “it” couple, who left Royal Life in England six months ago, are developing a production company to inspire parents and families with informative, inspiring content. The Netflix deal will pay the production company to create documentaries, docu-series, nature series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming, reports The New York Times.
Terms of the multiyear production deal were not disclosed, though the deal is rumored to be worth about $100 million. Deadline reports that two programs are already in the works, including a nature docu-series and an animated series that features inspiring women.
Millions of Americans remember Markle, 39, as an actress for her performance in the long-running cable TV show Suits which concluded in 2019. While the duchess said she is not planning to return to acting, she and Prince Harry, 35, may appear in upcoming documentaries as part of the multiyear production deal. The royal couple relocated to the Los Angeles area this spring and have purchased a $14.7 million home in Montecito, says the Times. The couple has a one-year-old son Archie.
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Creating content that offers hope
“Our lives, both independent of each other and as a couple, have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience, and the need for connection. Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” the couple said.
The royal couple has reportedly been in talks with other streaming services about potential production deals, including Disney, Apple and NBCUniversal. Netflix, who prides itself on providing original content to their nearly 193 million subscribers, is pleased they were able to secure the deal.
“We’re incredibly proud they have chosen Netflix as their creative home and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere,” said Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive and chief content officer for Netflix.
Leaving the royal life behind
In a surprising move in January, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their plans to relinquish their royal duties and to become financially independent. A major reason for their leaving the royal family was the excessive media attention they and their child were receiving. The couple longed for a more private live out of the public eye.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to care out a progressive new role within this institution,” the couple said in an Instagram statement that was also published on their website. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen.”
On their website, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex explain that the arrangement to step back from Royal Life was mutually agreed upon by the Royal Family with a 12-month review. It was agreed that they would become “privately funded” members of The Royal Family and, as such, were granted the right to earn their own income and pursue charitable interests of their own choosing. They also relinquished the right to public funding received from the Sovereign Grant.
There are really two stories here: one of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and one of Netflix. They happen to complement each other nicely. On one hand, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have found a different way to serve the public while also earning an independent living. They can participate in and promote projects they are personally passionate about. On the other, Netflix can continue its tradition of providing exclusive, original content to subscribers. The Duke and Duchess will bring a great deal of notoriety and brand awareness and loyalty to Netflix. Netflix will benefit the royal couple because Netflix currently has the single largest audience of any of the premium streaming subscription services, so they have the best chance of sharing their inspiration and hope.