A former UK minister is calling for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to be stripped of their royal titles following their shock Netflix deal that’s worth a reported $130 million.
The partnership will see the Sussexes create a series of documentaries, films and TV shows for the streaming giant including a rumoured one-off fly-on-the-wall style reality TV series.
Norman Baker, who was a member of parliament for eight years, took aim at the Duke during an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Monday, arguing that he should be forced to give up his HRH status before the cameras start rolling.
“Harry is clearly exploiting the Buckingham Palace connection and the fact is, he has to make up his mind, is he in the royal family or isn’t he?
“If he wants to run away and do a Netflix documentary that’s fine, as a private individual — but not when he keeps his HRH title.”
'Netflix wouldn't be offering Harry a huge deal because of his interesting views.'— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 28, 2020
Former MP Norman Baker says the HRH title means he’s representing Britain abroad and Harry is not doing that.
He adds that Harry is 'exploiting' his royal connections for a Netflix deal. pic.twitter.com/kTL9xPcBeM
Harry ‘divorced’ from royal family
Baker added that as the Prince had ‘clearly divorced himself from the royal family’ by relocating to the US with his wife and young son, Archie, the Queen should rescind his ‘His Royal Highness’ title.
“The Queen can take away the title because it was taken away from Harry’s mother after her divorce, so there’s a precedent for this,” he explained.
Royal biographer Ingrid Seward, who was also involved in the discussion, agreed that the couple is ‘trading off their royal connections’ but said it would be ‘very churlish’ of Her Majesty to remove their titles.
“The title was a gift from the Queen on the wedding day of one of her favourite grandchildren and his wife to be.
“It would be very churlish to say they can’t have this title anymore.”
GMA host and staunch Harry and Meghan critic, Piers Morgan, weighed in, saying that the pair’s continual use of ‘Duke and Duchess’ proved that they wanted to ‘have their royal cake and eat it too’.
“They want to trade of their royal titles and royal name to make vast amounts on money, which is what they’re now doing,” he said.
Earlier, he branded the ex-Suits actor the ‘new Kim Kardashian’ in light of the cancellation of Kim’s reality TV show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
Sussexes sign with Netflix
Word of the Sussexes’ huge multi-year deal with Netflix, thought to be worth $130 million, emerged in early September, with the pair set to create a series of documentaries, films and TV shows for the streaming giant.
It’s believed the shows will be based on issues that resonate with the couple personally and some of the projects are already in development, including a nature docu-series and an animated series celebrating inspiring women.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement: “Our lives, both independent of each other, and as a couple have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience, and the need for connection.”
Some sources believe Meghan and Harry will use the name “Achewell” for the production company, however that hasn’t been confirmed.
While it was rumoured that Meghan would not be returning to acting, the couple are expected to participate in a ‘tasteful’ one-off reality TV series.
According to The Sun, cameras will follow the Sussexes around for three months, in an effort to show fans ‘the real them’.
“It will all be very tasteful, and not Katie Price and Peter Andre-style reality TV, but they want to give people a glimpse into their lives and see all the charity work they do,” a source told the publication.
However if fans are hoping to get a glimpse inside their multi-million dollar Californian mansion, they might be left disappointed, as it’s believed the series will focus on the couple’s work as opposed to their personal lives. It’s also unclear if their son, Archie, will be included in the series.
Royals on camera
Since stepping back as senior royals at the start of the year and relocating to the US, Harry and Meghan have made the most of their new freedom by appearing in several TV shows, interviews and even a guest spot on America’s Got Talent.
Prince Harry made his Netflix debut in August in a documentary called Rising Phoenix, which told the story of the Paralympic Games. He is the founder of the Invictus Games, an event which brings together injured former military personnel through sport.
He is also involved in a series on mental health with Oprah, which was filmed partly in the UK while he was a senior royal, but for Apple TV.
One of Meghan’s first post-royal pieces of work was a voiceover for Disney+, a competitor of Netflix. More recently, she appeared in an intimate and exclusive conversation with activist Gloria Steinem for Verizon Media’s MAKERS.
The Duke and Duchess sparked controversy by urging US citizens to register to vote in their video to celebrate Time’s 100 Most Influential People list for 2020.
With extra reporting by Sarah Carty.