Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Strict List of Demands Might Cost Them Money from Speaking Gigs

When it comes to booking speaking gigs, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may earn less than previously estimated because of their demands.

melbourne, australia october 18 prince harry, duke of sussex and meghan, duchess of sussex wave to the crowd as they arrive at the royal botanic gardens on october 18, 2018 in melbourne, australia the duke and duchess of sussex are on their official 16 day autumn tour visiting cities in australia, fiji, tonga and new zealand photo by phil noble poolgetty images
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  • In addition to their deal producing content for Netflix, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expected to earn money from speaking engagements now that they've stepped back from their roles as senior working royals.
  • Previous estimates suggested that the Sussexes could command as much as $1 million to speak at events, but now at least one expert says that their actual earning potential for speaking gigs is likely much lower.
  • Speaking to The Sun, the expert, who works as an international consultant and runs VIP corporate events in the UK and US, said that the couple's strict list of demands will make it difficult for them to earn top dollar as speakers.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) have already done a lot to establish their independence after stepping down from their roles as senior working royals. Even before they inked their massive deal with Netflix (opens in new tab), the Sussexes were expected to earn big bucks from speaking engagements (opens in new tab). Now, however, some experts say the couple will likely pull in less money from those speaking gigs than was previously estimated.

"Harry and Meghan coming on the speaker circuit is certainly as significant as the likes of President Obama or Arnold Schwarzenegger," one expert, an international consultant who runs VIP corporate events in the UK and US, told The Sun (opens in new tab). "The pair are fascinating, uniquely experienced individuals, who have a wide reach, who would have been a huge draw to a live audience pre COVID. So back then figures between the 750k and $1M mark seemed steep, but possible. Realistically their earnings range is closer to $250k to $400k."

It's not just the coronavirus pandemic that will impact Harry and Meghan's (opens in new tab) earning potential from speaking engagements though. The expert, who spoke anonymously, said the Sussexes' strict list of demands (opens in new tab) will also play a role.

“The contract paperwork appears to read that the speakers have full control of the client’s event. It certainly raises eyebrows and will put off many potential large corporations," the source explained, adding that client expectations tend to increase for speakers who charge more and many may not be willing to relinquish the control over their events that the Sussexes' contract demands for such a steep rate. "Every speaker has a right to protect their image and request clients adopt their rules. No speaker or paid guest, in my experience, has ever been allowed to have approval of each aspect of a corporate event, including former US Presidents."

In the end, Harry and Meghan (opens in new tab) will have to negotiate their speaking rate on a case-by-case basis, but The Sun's expert expects many of those negotiations to end in stalemates.

"Nevertheless, I expect there will be some give and take on parts of their deals, but they will turn down many more events than they accept," the source said. "My guess would be ninety percent of opportunities will be passed on, once their speaking brand reaches its peak."

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london, united kingdom july 10 embargoed for publication in uk newspapers until 24 hours after create date and time meghan, duchess of sussex, prince harry, duke of sussex, prince william, duke of cambridge and catherine, duchess of cambridge watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the royal air force from the balcony of buckingham palace on july 10, 2018 in london, england the 100th birthday of the raf, which was founded on on 1 april 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new queen's colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over buckingham palace photo by max mumbyindigogetty images

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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.