Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have signed an exclusive multi-year deal with media services provider and production company Netflix.
“Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” said Prince Harry and wife Meghan in a statement.
“As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.”
Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said he was “incredibly proud” the royal couple had made Netflix “their creative home”. The streaming service has 193 million subscribers worldwide.
The multi-year deal will encompass documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming, the New York Times reported.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quit the Royal Family in pursuit of “financial independence” in January this year and have now bought a US$14.7 million home in Montecito in Santa Barbara, California.
“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,” Prince Harry and Meghan added.
“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.
“As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will set up their own company to produce the Netflix shows. Meghan Markle, who starred in the Netflix legal drama ‘Suits’, has made it clear she will not return to acting, but the couple may appear on camera for a documentary series.
Their fee has not been made public, but similar multi-year deals are worth many millions of dollars. The couple has already signed with speaking firm Harry Walker Agency.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are following the path of former US President Barack Obama and his First Lady, wife Michelle Obama, who already have a multi-year contract to work on scripted and unscripted series, docu-series, documentary films, and features.
Variety compared the Obamas’ deal with other high-profile signings, including a deal worth more than US$100m that saw Netflix poach <i>Grey’s Anatomy</i> creator Shonda Rhimes from ABC Studios. Ryan Murphy, the creator of <i>Glee</i> and <i>American Horror Story</i>, moved to Netflix under a deal worth a reported US$300 million and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the writers and creators of <i>Game of Thrones</i>, are said to have a TV and film deal worth US$200m.
“It is unclear how much Harry and Meghan will be paid, given their lack of producing experience,” noted the New York Times, which described the contract as “megawatt”.
Sarandos said projects in development by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle so far include an “innovative nature docu-series” and an “animated series that celebrates inspiring women”. Last week, Netflix released <i>Rising Phoenix</i>, a documentary about the Paralympic Games. Prince Harry, who founded the Invictus Games for wounded veterans, appears in the film.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said in January that they planned to continue “to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages”.
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. 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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA