Prince Harry said he was forced to flee Canada and make multi-million pound deals with Spotify and Netflix after his family, ‘literally cut me off financially’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey during their primetime interview that they ‘had no plan’ to ink multi-million-dollar deals with the ‘streamers’ when they first quit the royal family.
But Harry said they were forced to find ways of making money when the royal family cut him off and took away his security.
Insisting that their deals with the streaming giants – which are believed to be worth upwards of $100 million – were ‘never part of the plan’, Harry, 36, said: ‘That was suggested by somebody else by the point of where my family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us.’
In the bombshell interview, Harry sensationally revealed his family ‘cut me off financially’ and said he was only able to step away from royal life thanks to money left to him by his late mother
‘I’ve got what my mum left me, and without that, we would not have been able to do this,’ he said.
Defense: Prince Harry says he ‘had’ to make a multi-million-dollar deal with Netflix because he was ‘cut off’ by the royal family at the start of 2020 and needed money to pay for security
Safety first: Harry, 36, said that making deals with Netflix and Spotify were ‘never part of the plan’ but said ‘all he needed was enough money to pay for security to keep his family safe’
‘During COVID, the suggestion by a friend was, “What about streamers?”‘ Harry continued, while Meghan added: ‘We genuinely hadn’t thought about it before.’
‘We hadn’t thought about it,’ Harry continued. ‘So, there were all sorts of different options. And look, from my perspective, all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security to keep my family safe.’
When Harry and Meghan first announced that they were quitting their roles as senior working royals, there was much speculation over who would foot the enormous bill for their security – a subject that they touched on a number of times during their explosive interview with Oprah.
The couple revealed that Hollywood heavyweight Tyler Perry, who lent Harry and Meghan his $18 million Beverly Hills mansion when they first moved to LA, also paid for their security while they were living there.
‘We needed a house, and he offered us security as well, so it gave us breathing room to try and figure out what we are going to do,’ Meghan explained, while Harry hit out at the royals for removing his security at such ‘short notice’.
‘The biggest concern was that while we were in Canada, in someone else’ house, and then I got told short notice that security was going to be removed,’ he said, explaining that this news came shortly before the world went into lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
‘So suddenly it dawned on me, hang on a second, the borders could be closed, we’re going to have our security removed, who knows how long lockdown is going to be,’ he said.
‘The world knows where we are. It’s not safe. It’s not secure.’
At the time, it was estimated that security for the couple could cost upwards of $5.5 million a year – a sum that was previously paid by British taxpayers through the Metropolitan Police budget.
Many critics insisted that the couple should have to pick up the bill themselves after they quit working royal life in favor of a move to the US.
According to Harry, the couple’s police protection – which is given to all of the most senior working royals – was taken away because of their ‘change in status’.
‘Their justification is a change in status, of which I pushed back and said, “Well is there a change of threat or risk?”‘ he recalled.
‘And after many weeks of waiting, eventually, I got the confirmation that, no, the risk and threat hasn’t changed, but [it was] due to our change of status, which we would not longer be official working members of the royal family.’
The Duke admitted that the move came as a surprise to him, because he had thought that he would always be afforded protection because he was a royal by birth and therefore ‘inherited the risk’ that comes with being in that position.
‘I never thought I would have my security removed, because I was born in to this position,’ he said. ‘I inherited the risk. So that was a shock to me.’
Fans: Harry and Meghan revealed that they ‘have watched some’ of controversial Netflix show The Crown, hinting that they had seen episodes which focus on Prince Charles and Diana
Looking back: The fourth series of the show depicts Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s 1983 tour to Australia, and portrays Charles as growing bitterly jealous of his wife’s popularity
Echo: Harry hinted that other royals were jealous of Meghan’s popularity during their own tour of Australia in 2018
Meghan makes sensational claim that Royals banned Archie from being a Prince because of concerns over how ‘dark’ he would be and told her he would get no police protection, in incredible Oprah interview
Meghan Markle today used her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview to accuse the Royal Family of having ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white.
The Duchess of Sussex also described her ‘pain’ that officials had denied Archie the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect him by denying him 24/7 security.
Meghan refused to say which royal had the conversation with Harry about Archie’s skin color, claiming it would be ‘damaging’ to the person in her husband’s family who raised it.
She told Miss Winfrey that it was ‘a pretty safe’ assumption to suggest that the royal family member was ‘concerned’ that Archie being ‘too brown’ was ‘a problem’.
Prince Harry – who later joined his wife and Miss Winfrey for the last part of the interview – described the conversation as ‘awkward’, saying it left him ‘shocked’.
But he said declined to reveal anything more about what was said, saying: ‘That conversation I’m never going to share.’
Oprah asked Meghan if Archie was denied the title of Prince because of he is mixed-race, asking if the palace had concerns Archie would be ‘too brown’.
Meghan said: ‘In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, we have in tandem, the conversation of “He won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title,” and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’.
Oprah then interrupted and said: ‘Hold on. Hold up. Stop right now. There’s a conversation… about how dark your baby is going to be?’
Meghan replied: ‘Potentially, and what that would mean or look like’.
‘And you’re not going to tell me who had the conversation?’ Oprah asked.
Meghan replied: ‘I think that would be very damaging to them. That was relayed to me from Harry. Those were conversations that family had with him’.
She continued: ‘I wasn’t able to follow up with why, but if that’s the assumption you’re making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one, which was really hard to understand, right?’
Oprah then asked Prince Harry about the conversation, saying: ‘Well, what is particularly striking is what Meghan shared with us earlier, is that no one wants to admit that there’s anything about race or that race has played a role in the trolling and the vitriol, and yet Meghan shared with us that there was a conversation with you about Archie’s skin tone.
‘What was that conversation?
Prince Harry replied: ‘That conversation I’m never going to share, but at the time, it was awkward.
‘I was a bit shocked.’
Oprah asked him if he can reveal what that question was.
Harry refused, saying: ‘I’m not comfortable with sharing that.’
He added: ‘But that was right at the beginning, when she wasn’t going to get security, when members of my family were suggesting that she carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her, and all this sort of stuff.
‘Like, there was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard.’
Meghan also said that she ‘wrote letters’ to the royal family in which she pleaded with them to keep Harry’s security in place, but claimed that she was told it ‘was not possible’, despite her insisting that he was facing ‘death threats’ and ‘racist propaganda’.
‘I even wrote letters to his family saying, “Please, it’s very clear the protection of me or Archie is not a priority. I accept that, that is fine. Please keep my husband safe. I see the death threats. I see the racist propaganda.
‘”Please keep him safe, please don’t pull his security and announce to the world when he and we are most vulnerable.” And they it’s just not possible.’
The couple’s decision to partner with Netflix raised many eyebrows, and several critics slammed Harry and Meghan for teaming up with the streaming site responsible for The Crown, which has been accused of painting a ‘twisted’ image of the royal family.
When asked about the controversial series – which Harry defended during an interview with James Corden last month – the couple revealed that they ‘have watched some of’ the show, but gave little other hints about their feelings over it.
However they suggested that they have seen some of the most recent episodes, which focus primarily on Harry’s parents, including Diana’s battle with bulimia and her very turbulent relationship with Charles, with Oprah asking specifically about the show’s depiction of Prince Charles and Diana’s tour of Australia in 1983.
In the series, Charles is portrayed as growing jealous of Diana’s rising popularity during the trip, something that Harry suggested was echoed when he and Meghan visited the country themselves in 2018, hinting that the Duchess faced envy from other members of his family.
‘You know, my father, my brother, Kate and and all the rest of the family, they were really welcoming,’ he said of his wife’s introduction into the royal family. ‘But it really changed after the Australia tour, after our South Pacific tour.’
He continued: ‘It was the first time that the family got to see how incredible [Meghan] is at the job.’
Oprah then referenced scenes from The Crown in which Charles is seen growing increasingly jealous of his wife and the incredibly positive reception she received as they traveled throughout Australia.
She asked Harry whether his and Meghan’s tour of Australia ‘brought back memories’ of his parents’ trip, saying: ‘Your father and your mother went there, and your mother was bedazzling. So, are you saying there were hints of jealousy [from the rest of the royal family]?’
Harry refused to confirm whether he thought other royals were envious of Meghan, but said: ‘I just wish that we would all learn from the past.
‘But to see the… to see how effortless it was for Meghan to come into the family so quickly in Australia and across New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, and just be able to connect with people…’
He then described his wife as ‘one of the greatest assets to the Commonwealth that the family could have ever wished for’.
The couple’s confession that they have indeed watched episodes of The Crown come days after Harry defended the controversial show and its depiction of his family to Late Late Show host James Corden.
The fourth series of The Crown, which premiered last November, showed Charles meeting and marrying an innocent Diana while maintaining his affair with the then-married Camilla Parker-Bowles. Scenes showing Diana gorging on food before vomiting into a toilet are so graphic that they carry on-screen warnings.
Prince Harry – who also name-dropped Netflix elsewhere in the interview – said The Crown is ‘fictional’ but is ‘loosely based on the truth’ and captures the feeling of being expected to put ‘duty and service above family and everything else’.
Harry added he would like Homeland actor Damian Lewis to play him if his character ever appears on the show as an adult.
‘They don’t pretend to be news, it’s fictional,’ Prince Harry said of The Crown. ‘But it’s loosely based on the truth.
‘Of course it’s not strictly accurate but it loosely it gives you a rough idea of that lifestyle and the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else and what can come from that.
‘I’m way more comfortable about The Crown than the stories I see written about my family, my wife or myself. Because it’s the difference between that’s [the fact] obviously fiction, take it how you will – but this is reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news.’