Does Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix Deal Violate Exit Agreement With Queen Elizabeth II?

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex shocked fans everywhere when they announced in January that they were stepping back as senior royals.

At first, the couple said they wanted to remain working on behalf of the Crown and would split time between the U.K. and America, but Queen Elizabeth II said not so fast.

The monarch called a closed-door royal summit which only she, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry were ordered to attend. Following the meeting, the queen said that Meghan and Harry had her support in their decision to forge new paths and the couple’s exit terms will be reviewed in a year.

Prince Harry and Meghan signed a multi-year deal with Netflix

The announcement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s mega deal, which could be worth around $100 million, was confirmed by Variety on Sept. 2. The prince and former Suits star later released a statement that said,

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.

Netflix’s co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos also released a statement about working with the Sussexes.

“Harry and Meghan have inspired millions of people all around the world with their authenticity, optimism and leadership,” he said. “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.” 

The exact details of the deal have not been released but many are wondering if it violates the exit agreement the pair made with Harry’s grandmother before they moved to the U.S.

Does it violate royal summit agreement with queen?

 Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan and Harry noted that they wanted to become “financially independent.” However, they moved to LA during the coronavirus (COVID-19) and weren’t able to make any money right away. Since arriving, they’ve been financially supported by Prince Charles but that is likely to change now with their lucrative deal.

Sources told The Mirror that royal officials will review the prince and duchess’s Netflix deal.

“Under the terms of their deal to forgo their royal duties, they agreed any commercial deals would be subject to discussion,” an insider explained. “This deal with Netflix, any speaking engagements or other corporate work are examples. Both the royal family and senior courtiers will be aware of how this looks to the public, especially as the couple has not yet paid back the £2.4million they promised to refund to the taxpayer for Frogmore Cottage.”

According to The Express, Queen Elizabeth also expects all her family members working and non-working to follow the seven Nolan principles of ethical standards which are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership. So the work Harry and Meghan produce must stick to those especially since the palace stated in January that the couple “made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.”

Some threaten to cancel Netflix over Sussexes’ deal

Netflix logo
Netflix logo | Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

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If anything changes with this deal after it’s reviewed remains to be seen but some subscribers have threatened to pull the plug on Netflix because of the announcement that the streaming giant is working with the Sussexes.

The Daily Star reported that a number of Netflix subscribers took to social media to voice their frustrations over the deal with the couple and claimed they were going to or already had canceled the steaming service.

The publication pointed out that some back and forth then ensued with those who defended the Sussexes’ signing. Those fans predicted that the duke and duchess’s projects on the platform will attract more people than it will lose.