Numerous concerns regarding the inner workings of the British royal family have been raised in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey. The Firm is frequently mentioned, which is foremost among them. Meghan admitted during the interview that she once had suicide thoughts and went to The Firm for support. Apparently, she was turned down. When Prince Harry went to The Firm with the same request for his wife, he was reportedly told that she wouldn’t get any assistance since it wouldn’t look good for the royal family. Another thing Markle said was that The Firm plays a big role in putting out the false rumors and out-and-out lies about Meghan and Harry. The Firm appears to have complete control over the family’s lives as well as $28 billion worth of royal assets. Exactly how does that operate?
The history of The Firm goes back 85 years to 1936, when Edward VIII, a twice-divorced American socialite, abdicated the kingdom in order to wed Wallis Simpson. The Firm is the term used to refer to the monarchy’s leading figures and public faces. It was originally only a moniker, but it caught on. The Firm is a multinational corporation with $28 billion in holdings, including farmland in Scotland and real estate in London. The Firm is an exclusive club made up of seven royals: Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla. The Firm’s de facto chairperson is Queen Elizabeth. The members of The Firm not only manage assets, but they also maintain control over the reputations of the individual royals – which is important to remember when evaluating Meghan and Harry’s statements that The Firm would not let her get help for her suicidal ideations.
(Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth has been the leader of The Firm since 1952, when she succeeded her father to the throne. In addition to the extended Royal Family, the House of Windsor employs thousands of people worldwide. Buckingham Palace alone employs almost 1,200 people. The Crown Estate, the organization in charge of managing the monarchy’s assets, employs 450 staff members. The monarchy’s financial decisions are made by the board of directors of the Crown Estate. High expectations are put on The Firm’s members to maintain the House of Windsor’s cash cow for future generations. The Firm holds, but is barred from, selling $28 billion in assets through the $19.5 billion Crown Estate, the $4.9 billion Buckingham Palace, the $1.3 billion Duchy of Cornwell, the $748 million Duchy of Lancaster, the $630 million Kensington Palace, and the $592 million Crown Estate of Scotland.
Prince Charles, 72, has the second-biggest operation in the royal family. In addition to the Sovereign Grant, the revenue from the Duchy of Cornwall comes from his official title as Duke of Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwell was established in the 14th century by Edward III to keep his firstborn son well-off while he awaited the crown. The Duchy now employs 150 people and looks after more than 130,000 acres of southwest England land worth $1.3 billion. The Duchy’s assets cannot be sold, but Prince Charles can profit from them by renting out real estate to farmers, residents, and retail businesses. Charles makes more money from the Duchy of Cornwall than from the Sovereign Grant. In the previous year, he received less than $2.5 million from the Sovereign Grant. Charles also provides for his sons Prince William and Prince Harry with a sizeable chunk of his wealth. Last year, they each collected $7.8 million. Although, in the Oprah interview, Harry said he is not receiving money from his father or the Crown Estate, rather he is living on the money left to him by his late mother, Princess Diana.
Third in line for the throne is Prince William. He and Kate Middleton are advantages for the royal family because of their ability to increase brand sales and provide more than $165 million a year to the British economy. The Duchy of Cornwall pays William a yearly salary to cover his family’s personal costs. William earned a portion of approximately $8 million for the fiscal year that ends in March 2020, which he had to split with Harry before he and Meghan announced their intention to leave their roles as royals. William is also entitled to his portion of the estimated $10 million estate that Princess Diana left Harry and him.
Prince Harry said that the royal family had cut him off financially. With a combined net worth of $50 million, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are doing just fine thanks to their acting careers and the money Princess Diana gave them. They acquired a Santa Barbara house for $14.7 million. The duo has also completed a number of successful transactions. They have a three-year arrangement with Archewell Audio, a podcast through Spotify, for between $15 million and $18 million. Together with Oprah Winfrey, Harry is executive producing an Apple TV+ mental health series. Additionally, Harry and Meghan have a five-year, $100 million agreement with Netflix to develop scripted shows, feature films, documentaries, and docuseries. When it comes down to it, Harry and Meghan have created a path to earning far more money as private individuals by leaving the royal family.
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