Last week, in true millennial fashion, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made an announcement via Instagram. “We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within the institution,” the two wrote of their decision to quit as senior members of the royal family. They plan to become financially independent, no longer funded by tax-payers’ money, while still watching over their patronages and charities. For the rest of us commoners, who could only dream of waking up one day in a well-kept palace, we couldn't help but wonder: what do they plan to do?
First, a little background. The decision of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to step down was reportedly made in light of the growing rift within the royal family, as well as to protect the family, considering the British press’ hounding of Meghan.
Wanting to protect the family may be an understandable reason for most, but with the Monarchy built with thousands of years of tradition and protocol, the news wasn't received well. With the rest of the royal family not made aware of this huge announcement prior, drama ensued and efforts have been made for the two parties to come to an agreement. And finally, after the Queen called for a summit last Monday to discuss the issue, she finally released a statement acknowledging the couple’s choice to step down from their royal duties.
Buckingham Palace have sent their own statement out, adding that discussions with the couple are at “an early stage.” pic.twitter.com/aCXyEMQuW8— Omid Scobie (@scobie) January 8, 2020
Though the Queen’s statement appears to be a green light to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s stepping down, no further official announcement has yet been made as to how this transition will go about and if they will keep their titles. What we know for sure, is that after all the pains and trouble the British press caused the Sussexes, they’ll be opting out of the Royal Rota system of reporting. This means they’ll no longer inform a select group of media companies of their updates prior to making an announcement, but will instead work with grassroots media organisations. This is to support up-and-coming journalists, as well as allow greater media access for their cause-driven activities.
The financial matters after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle steps down, on the other hand, appear to be unclear for now. Evening Standard, a newspaper in the UK, claims that the Canadian government will offer a portion of the taxpayer’s money to fund the Sussexes, but that has been refuted by CBC, a Canadian media company. But, if they really do intend to push through with financial independence, how will that work out? Even without the government funding, their personal wealth are relatively high, with Meghan’s net worth estimated at USD5 million in 2018 from her acting career, and Harry's at at least USD25 million, composed largely of an inheritance of USD13.3 million from Diana, Princess of Wales, and a regular allowance from Prince Charles. But if they intend to continue supporting their patronages and maintain their current lifestyle, they will need more than that.
🚨 WE’RE HIRING 🚨 pic.twitter.com/c7aJ6jjsS1— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 8, 2020
In an attempt to ease tensions, some of the public has made light-hearted job offers to the royal couple online. For one, there’s Trevor Noah, host of American talk show The Daily Show, who tweeted about looking for a couple of employees whose qualifications fit the two. Another notable post was the Surrey Police’s search for an applicant near Windsor and Sussex whose “beliefs in public service, and serving the [Queen] could be an asset.” But seriously speaking, what sort of career options do they now have?
Returning to their past jobs
With Harry pitching for Meghan to do voice-overs to the Disney CEO in exchange of donation to their charities, it seems going back to her past career in showbiz can be an option for Meghan. If you can recall, the former actress grew popular after being cast in the TV show Suits. But if she’ll do return on the screens, this time, she may have to carefully vet her roles. After all, their personas are still closely connected to the royal family. For Harry, on the other hand, returning to his past military in the British Army seems not to be an option.
Setting up a production company
Speaking of TV and acting, the two could follow in the Obamas’ footsteps and set up their own production company. Here, they could create and fund projects like documentaries and shows that shed light on advocacies close to their hearts. We all know that Meghan is a staunch supporter of equality and women’s rights. The idea is not so far-fetched too, especially with Harry already working with Oprah Winfrey on her Apple TV series addressing mental health.
Speaking for their advocacies
After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle step down from their current posts, they can also take up a career in public speaking. After all, with their past tours, they’re no longer strangers to sharing their experiences to inspire various groups of people. Given their influence and reach, companies and organisations would surely pay to have the honour of them speak at their engagements.
Sharing insights and inspiration
With her love for writing, another possibility for Meghan is the revival of her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig, of which she still retains the rights of until 2021. If not that, with their stories as former senior members of the royal family, they can also score a book deal with their experiences that could rack up millions to support their charities.
Creating their own brand
Considering the great Meghan Markle effect, which led to overwhelming sales of the fashion pieces she wears, it’s also an option for the Sussexes to create their own lifestyle brand. In fact, Meghan has already created her own clothing line for a charity, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if she expands her business after quitting her current position.
Although their love story didn't end like a fairy tale, where the prince and princess end up in the castle, for sure, they are writing their "happily ever after" on their own terms.
(Cover photo from: @sussexroyal)