Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have remained relatively quiet since the release of the former’s memoir, Spare, in January. The royals have thus far refused to comment on any of the claims made by the pair, and with March approaching, the Sussexes have now been mocked by the adult animated television comedy show South Park.
When the couple left the Royal Family and their duties behind, they were also cut off from funding from the Palace. Instead, Harry and Meghan had to make it on their own. Based on reports, it looks like things have turned out pretty well for them indeed.
Even so, a royal expert is now speculating that things might not be as good as expected. Author and royal expert Tom Bower claims that the couple can’t afford the lavish lifestyle they desire – and that Meghan thought Harry would be worth more money.
Harry and Meghan have been in the spotlight for years now. Not only because they left the royal family – going on to feature in several high-profile interviews – but also because of their ongoing feud with the establishment they left behind. Recently, they found themselves mocked in a brand new South Park episode.
It was the now-infamous Oprah Winfrey interview that many felt started their “war” against the monarchy. During the sit-down, the couple made a series of startling claims regarding what they’d been forced to endure while living together in the UK.
Meghan would go on to start her podcast, while early last summer Harry revealed that he was going to release a memoir.
Harry’s huge success with the ‘Spare’ book
In December, Netflix released Harry and Meghan’s six-part documentary series. The production, in which Harry and Meghan continued to delve into things that had happened up to that point in their lives, was met with both positive and negative reactions. The pair also revealed new things about their lives as royals, and how their respective experiences had formed them as people.
In early January, Harry released Spare, his tell-all memoir. Just as with the Netflix series, the reviews were mixed. One thing that’s beyond all doubt, though, is that it proved to be a massive success story for him and his publisher, Penguin Random House.
According to the publisher, Spare sold 400,000 copies across physical, e-book, and audio formats on the first day alone. In fact, it became the fastest-selling non-fiction book in the UK of all time.
“We always knew this book would fly, but it is exceeding even our most bullish expectations,” Larry Finlay, managing director of Transworld Penguin Random House, said.
“As far as we know, the only books to have sold more in their first day are those starring the other Harry (Potter).”
On the UK Amazon site, Harry’s memoir was a top-selling publication and is expected to be the biggest seller of 2023.
Four days after its release, Penguin Random House released more stats, revealing that Spare sold 1.4 million copies on its first day in the UK, United States, and Canada. It was released in a total of 16 languages worldwide.
Harry reportedly got $20 million for writing ‘Spare’
Parts of the book were widely leaked before its release, but its content continued to fill airtime and pages in traditional newspapers and online.
“Vulnerable and heartfelt, brave and intimate, Spare is the story of someone we may have thought we already knew, but now we can truly come to understand Prince Harry through his own words,” President and publisher of the Random House Group, Gina Cantrell, said.
“Looking at these extraordinary first-day sales, readers clearly agree, Spare is a book that demands to be read, and it is a book we are proud to publish.”
Harry – who reportedly netted $20 million for writing the book – will undoubtedly be pleased about its success, not least because it’s made him a Guinness World Record holder.
On its website, Guinness World Records announced that Harry’s tell-all book had become the fastest-selling non-fiction book ever. The official number of its first day of sales in the UK, US, and Canada was 1.43 million copies. That meant Harry surpassed the record held by Barack Obama’s fourth book, A Promised Land, which sold 887,000 copies on its release day.
Though Spare was highly anticipated, it may have hindered Harry’s reputation among the British public. In a YouGov survey published in The Times not long after the book’s release, only 24 percent of the UK population have retained a favorable view of him. That number was down from 80 percent a decade ago, with 68 percent of those surveyed being critical of him.
Will Harry write another book?
According to the survey, Harry and Meghan’s popularity ratings among those over 65 were even worse than the ratings of Prince Andrew.
Needless to say, Harry’s book – ghostwritten by American journalist J.R Moehringer, who also has written memoirs for billionaire Phil Knight and tennis player Andre Agassi – has evoked its fair share of reactions.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Royal Family is not among those sharing their thoughts. No one from the Firm has commented on the book. Most likely, it will remain that way.
The same can be said for Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary. The show’s producers revealed that they had reached out for a comment from the Palace but were met with silence. Others claim that Netflix never reached out for comment in the first place.
Though Harry revealed many things in his book, there was a deal of material that didn’t make the final cut. In an interview with The Telegraph, the Prince explained that the first draft of his book was 800 pages long.
As mentioned, Harry’s publisher Penguin Random House is naturally delighted regarding the book’s outcome. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that Harry could technically produce a second book from the content that didn’t make the final manuscript for Spare.
Interestingly, though, there might be another significant project in the works.
Four-year book deal
In January, a senior industry source told the Express that Penguin Random House has been left stunned by the success of Harry’s book – and that “the heat is on” to encourage Meghan Markle to write one as well.
Harry and Meghan’s four-book deal with the publisher was said to include an eye-watering $20 million advance. Global royalties for Harry’s book, meanwhile, might be more than $120 million. The industry source said that the figures have “taken everyone by surprise.”
“Nobody expected sales figures like the ones we are seeing,” the source told the news outlet.
“Harry could easily overtake the combined book sales of the Obamas, the company’s current joint best-selling authors. That’s why the heat is on to get Meghan’s version of events – both with the Royal Family and her own family members in America – out there in print as soon as possible, ideally early next year to pick up sales when demand for Spare slows down.”
While the Sussexes are said to be working on a leadership book currently, it might be time for Meghan to start thinking about focusing on a memoir herself, the source added.
Such a book would undoubtedly become Penguin Random House’s top priority.
“Having seen Harry’s sales, they’re convinced Meghan’s story in her own words can sell even more, especially in the US,” the industry insider claimed.
How rich are Harry and Meghan?
Whether or not Meghan will write a memoir remains to be seen. But royal commentator Andre Phillips opines that she probably will, comparing her and Harry to former President Barack Obama and his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if she came out with a book herself,” Phillips said.
“I really feel like they’re trying to follow up the Obamas in a way because Barack had a book, and now Michelle has a book. So, I think she’s going to definitely come out with her bombshell tell-all.”
When Harry and Meghan split from the Royal Family in 2020, they gave away their royal titles, as well as their right to financial aid. In the Oprah interview, Harry said that his family “literally cut me off financially,” adding that the deals they struck with Netflix and Spotify were never a part of the plan. The Duke said he was left with no choice as he had to “afford security” for their family.
Meanwhile, he and William shared the reported $14 million fortune their mother, Princess Diana, left them.
“But I’ve got what my mum left me and without that, we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” Harry told Oprah.
For the Spotify deal, Meghan and Harry reportedly got $18 million. According to an industry expert speaking to Newsweek, the deal itself might be worth $35 million.
Royal expert claims Meghan is “money-obsessed.”
In September 2020, the couple secured a five-year $100 million production deal with Netflix. Harry has, as mentioned, also earned plenty from his book. But of course, he’s not the only one in the relationship making money.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Meghan Markle has a net worth of around $60 million.
When looking at the numbers alone, it might seem as though Harry and Meghan have very little to worry about. Their two children are growing up, and the couple has a mansion in Montecito, California, far away from the British paparazzi and tabloids.
But are things as tranquil as one might expect? Well, according to author and royal expert Tom Bower, that’s not exactly the case.
Bower – the author of Reveengee: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors – claims that Meghan is “money-obsessed.” He adds that she wants a lavish lifestyle, including luxury cars and “private jets on command.”
Meghan wants private jets “on command”
According to Bower, Meghan thought she would marry into that sort of lifestyle. However, the Duchess and her husband now have to “scrounge” around for money to afford the luxurious lifestyle they desire.
“Her great surprise and disappointment were that Prince Harry had very little money,” Bower told the Express. “She had imagined he would be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, and she is having to make up for it now.”
He added: “She wants to ride in the big Cadillacs, the private jets on command. At the moment, she needs to scrounge for those sorts of things.”
Royal commentator Daniela Elser also wrote on the subject in New Zealand Herald, agreeing with Bower.
“Does anyone think [Spotify] might have paid out the full $33 million their contract is said to be worth just for Meghan’s lackluster Archetypes? (It might have debuted with much fanfare, but later episodes failed to set the podcasting charts on fire),” she wrote.
“The issue is not only how much they are making but how tiddly that sum is in contrast with what their new best friends are all raking in,” Elser added.
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