Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are richer than the Obamas but could face unexpected bills after signing a £112 million deal with streaming service Netflix, an expert claims.
The former senior royals who quit the UK earlier this year to live out of the limelight have now paid back £2.4m taxpayers' cash used to do up their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor.
They've taken out a £7m mortgage to pay for their secluded £11m Santa Barbara home in the US and have reportedly discontinued their hefty allowance from Harry's dad Prince Charles.
But tax adviser David Lesperance told Express.co.uk: “I suspect they have got a very good deal, they appear to have got a greater sum of money than the Obamas.”
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle signed a Netflix deal in 2018, estimated to be worth £50 million.
But Mr Lesperance added: “Depending on how the deal is set up, somebody will pay expenses, either Netflix or the production company.
“That’s salaries, keygrips, stages, lighting, make-up.”
He said there will be extensive travel and insurance costs involved too, particularly if Harry wants to do environmentally-focused documentaries.
The adviser continued: “Without seeing the deal, are those expenses to be borne by the Sussexes’ production company or Netflix?
“If it is to be borne by the Sussexes, that will lean in significantly into what’s going to be left over after expenses, after corporate tax, after an individual tax.”
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The tax adviser also said the couples’ finances could be affected by where the production company is located, as the US would impose federal taxes on such an organisation.
The Sussexes’ production company is yet to be publicly named but they will use it to create documentaries on causes close to both of their hearts, such as the environment and women’s rights.
In a statement, Meghan and Harry said: “Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope.
“As new parents, making family programming is also important.”
They acknowledged Netflix’s “unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action”.
The couple may also appear on screen during their documentaries and have already started an animated series which is focused on inspiring women.
Harry, 35, featured in a documentary called Rising Phoenix released last week, about the Paralympic Games.
Mr Lesperance reckoned their global status means Netflix will be able to appeal “to just about anyone” in the film industry.
He added: “So I think it was well worth it from Netflix’s point of view.”
It is unclear how much the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be paid personally, especially as they have little producing experience.
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