Royal Expert Explains Why Meghan Markle's Future Isn't So Bright

Back in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the world when they announced plans to officially quit their roles as senior members of the royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex subsequently left the United Kingdom and moved to Santa Barbara, California. 

It wasn't long before the couple moved on from their roles within the royal family, and, in September 2020, it was reported that the Duke and Duchess had signed a multi-year deal with the streaming giant Netflix to produce TV shows, movies, and children's shows (via The Guardian). 

However, almost two years after signing the deal, in May 2022, Netflix announced that they would not be moving forward with Markle's animated series "Pearl," blaming a lack of budget, The Independent reported. The announcement likely came as a blow to the former royal couple, and one royal expert has claimed that the Duchess of Sussex's future perhaps isn't so bright.

A royal expert thinks Meghan Markle is not a good investment

Commenting on Netflix's decision to drop Meghan Markle's animated series, the consultant editor of the Daily Mail, Andrew Pierce, claimed that the streaming platform had perhaps come to the conclusion that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex "are not the investment they thought they were." 

"What does it say about the fall from grace of Meghan? This contract is not even two years old and they've realised already that her celebrity is fading in the United States," Pierce claimed, adding that losing the planned series "Pearl" was likely a "real blow" to Markle's ego.

Furthermore, the Daily Mail's diary editor Richard Eden, shared his belief that the Netflix announcement doesn't bode well for the rest of the royal family either. "What's so significant and what's frankly worrying is that the only projects that will get the green light from Netflix now will be very personal ones about the Royal Family." Eden continued, "That puts them in an awkward position because I don't think they wanted to do that and certainly it will make people nervous back at Buckingham Palace."

This is what we know about Harry and Meghan's Netflix deal

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle signed a deal with Netflix back in September 2020. According to Us Weekly, it was a "multi-year create content including documentaries, movies, series, and children's programming" in which the couple was offered nearly $100 million. At the time of the deal, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he felt that what Meghan and Harry were bringing to the company was going to be "some of the most exciting, most viewed content," Vanity Fair reports.

When the deal was solidified, it appears Netflix had partnered with the couple because of how profitable projects about social justice and equality were becoming. Ted Sarandos, Netflix's co-chief executive and chief content officer, said at the time that he was "incredibly proud [Prince Harry and Meghan] have chosen Netflix as their creative home and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere," per The New York Times.

Harry already has one project on Netflix: "Rising Phoenix," a documentary about the history of the Paralympic Games that came out in August 2020. Harry's other projects follow a similar theme, like "Heart of Invictus," a docuseries about the 2022 Invictus Games, which Netflix confirms is still in the works, per BBC.

While Harry's projects are still seemingly moving forward, though, we have to wonder what this means for Meghan and her future projects with Netflix — if there are any.

Did Meghan's show really get canceled because of budgeting?

Netflix claims they dropped Meghan Markle's animated series because of issues the company's having with bringing in new money. The BBC reports the company's market value has dropped by $50 billion after a month of substantial decreases in subscribers, coupled with fears of "millions more" set to leave the streaming service. The pandemic brought people back in front of their televisions, driving membership rates up. Now, with so many different streaming options and life returning to somewhat normal, getting new customers isn't as easy for Netflix as it used to be.

"Pearl," the show Meghan was set to executive produce, was going to follow "the adventures of a 12-year-old girl, who is inspired by influential women from history." Vanity Fair reports David Furnish, Elton John's husband, was slated to executive produce the show as well.

Meghan's show wasn't the only one on the chopping block, either: two other series, "Dino Daycare" and "Boons and Curses" were also canceled, per the BBC. Departments within Netflix also saw major cuts, including Tudum, an editorial operation, which laid off workers months after its creation, per The Daily Beast. Another 25 staff members were laid off from Netflix's marketing division, sources told The Daily Beast.

But with so much content already available on the service, and with so many projects in development, it's hard not to wonder if Meghan's dropping popularity has something to do with Netflix taking the ax to her project.