Harry living off his mother’s estate

In a somewhat sensational interview with Oprah Winfrey this week, the repercussions of which are likely to be extensive, Prince Harry also revealed that he and his wife Meghan Markle have been living off his late mother’s inheritance.

In 2020, Harry and Meghan decided to take a step back from their roles as senior members of the UK’s Royal Family, and later quit the UK. Both had found the negative attention of the British press difficult to bear.

The decision meant they were no longer entitled to the monies given to the Royal family. However, when Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997, she left a fortune of £12,966,022 to her two sons, although the death duties due on the sum reduced the overall total to £8,502,330.

Money invested on their behalf

As William and Harry were only 15 and 12 at the time of their mother’s death, the money was invested on their behalf, and by the time they received it, the sum had increased to a total of £10 million.

Diana’s estate comprised her divorce settlement from Prince Charles, as well as shares, cash, jewellery and other assets. Harry was able to access part of the money when he turned 25, and all of it once he reached his 30th birthday.

He and his brother paid inheritance tax on the money when they received it.

Major deals with Spotify and Netflix

Harry used the money after he and Meghan stepped back from their Royal duties as the royals “literally cut me off” as he told Oprah. The couple have since signed major deals with Spotify and Netflix.

Princess Diana made her Will in 1993. She appointed her mother and brother as guardians of her children should she die before they were of age. She also specified that 75 percent of her jewellery and possessions should be divided between William and Harry, with the remaining 25 percent going to her 17 godchildren, and £50,000 to her butler.

However, the executors of her Will – her mother and sister – went to court to obtain a ‘variation order’ to allow them to distribute her estate differently. They ensured the two princes only received a portion of their inheritance when they turned 25, and rather than splitting the 25 percent of jewellery and possessions, the godchildren were to receive a single memento, chosen by the executors.

Princess Diana’s brother, the Earl Spencer, put together an exhibition of her possessions that travelled the world and raised more than £2 million for charity.


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