As Prince Harry And Meghan Markle continue to expand their financial empire in the United States, they’ve had to contend with making money while still respecting the British royal family. Though some critics have accused the Sussexes of cashing in on their royal connections, they’re not the only members of the royal family that have courted controversy for doing the same thing.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s Lucrative Prospects Make Some Nervous
Soon after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their intention to step back from their royal duties, Harry’s cousin, Peter Phillips, Queen Elizabeth’s oldest grandchild, found himself in hot water. Via her daughter, Princess Anne Phillips was featured in a Chinese milk commercial, and it caused a commotion that was almost immediately overheard.
One critic, Writing for Daily MailAccording to A.N., the English-style manor behind the advertisement was meant to represent Windsor Castle. A.N. Wilson, the writer, noted that Phillips had never held a title and was raised in Gloucestershire. Wilson noted that Phillips had never held a title and had been raised in Gloucestershire’s home, not Windsor Castle.
“Monarchist” Be Concerned About “Tawdry” Cash Schemes
Wilson continued: “Monarchists like myself are concerned about the tawdry ‘cashing-in’ by men such as Mr. Phillips, who behave nothing like royals and far more like low-rent celebrities chasing commercial endorsements.”
This was far from Phillips’ first offense, per the Wilson. He’d “romantically sold the ‘rights’ to his wedding” To Say hello! magazine “an estimated £500,000,” Wilson added. This was in addition to the £750,000 his company, SEL UK, was paid to oversee Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday party in The Mall.
Phillips later defended his company against critics who claimed his connection to the Queen enabled his company to be chosen over other candidates. However, he did eventually step down as a trustee of the Patron’s Fund charity set up to run the event to avoid any conflicts of interest. Wilson wrote wittily, “That phrase about being prepared to sell your granny leaped to mind.”
Other Royals Are Accused of “Cashing-In”
Phillips’ sister, Zara, was also singled out for giving Say hello! Magazine a tour of her Cotswold home in 2001 for a reported £125,000. In 2014, she also sold photos of her daughter Lena to the same publication for a reported PS125,000. “six-figure sum,”Wilson agreed.
Princess Anne’s two children aren’t the only financially rogue royals that Wilson named. Sarah Ferguson, ex-wife to troubled Prince Andrew had previously “accepted £500,000 from Waterford Wedgwood in exchange for, among other things, tips on how to lay a dinner table.”
Ferguson had also been caught offering access to Andrew in exchange for £500,000 to an undercover reporter pretending to be an Arab sheik in 2010. She’d allegedly promised, “I can open any door you want.”
Sophie Wessex, a second royal wife, wed Prince Edward in 1999. She had to resign from her P.R. company in 2001 after it became clear that her business partner had attempted to cash in on her royal connections while pursuing a contract. “There is no doubt that those who are not full-time working royals must tread a fine line in trying to make a living without being seen to exploit their royal connections,” Wilson warned.
These lessons are why Harry and Markle should learn from them
This brings us back to the Sussexes. Wilson went on. “Let us trust that Harry and Meghan appreciate this as they settle into a new and, they hope, lucrative life in North America.” Over the past year, both Markle and Harry have not only expanded their charitable foundation, Archwell, but they’ve also branched out into their careers.
Both have pursued writing, with Markle recently publishing a children’s book called The BenchHarry is still at work on his memoir. Harry also has employment with BetterUp Inc., a Silicon Valley mental healthcare startup. He signed multi-million-dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify. So far, critics haven’t been impressed with Harry sharing his experience growing up in the royal family in such a public manner.
Many might accuse him of trying to cash in on his past, as his finances become more complicated due to his confessions regarding royal life. It’s a very fine line, indeed, that Harry has in front of him, and there are unfortunately a lot of people hoping for him to slip.