The New York Times reported in September 2020 that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex founded a production company (later confirmed to be Archewell Productions) and signed a multiyear deal with the steaming service, which will pay them to make documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming.
While Markle previously declared that she had no plans to continue her acting career during her engagement interview in November 2017, the former Suits star may appear in front of the camera again with her husband for their Netflix projects.
‘Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,’ the couple said in a statement confirming the news. 'As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.’
The couple added that the streaming platform’s ‘unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action’.
‘We’re incredibly proud they 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,’ Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-chief executive and chief content officer, has reportedly stated.
In February, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle elaborated on their decision to sign a deal with Netflix when they sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a televised interview special which dominated global headlines for many days.
Prince Harry told Winfrey that making deals with 'streamers' was never in their plan, but was suggested to them by a friend. He also said the reason they are doing it is to be able to afford the appropriate level of security for his family. Since stepping back as senior working members of the royal family, they are financially independent from the monarchy and no longer receiving taxpayer's money and royal funding.
'We're certainly not complaining,' Harry clarified. 'Our life is great now. We've got a beautiful house, I've got a beautiful family, the dogs are really happy... from my perspective all I needed was enough money to pay for security to keep my family safe.'
Prince Harry later opened up about being able to buy the house due to the inheritance he received from his late mother, Princess Diana, but needed the top-up of income for security costs.
In recent months, the Sussexes have also collaborated with Disney and Apple on projects, and Variety recently reported that the couple met with NBCUniversal.
The pair's new Netflix deal signals a landmark decision for the pair who follow in the footsteps of friends Barack and Michelle Obama.
In 2018, Netflix signed the former US President Barack Obama and US first lady to work on scripted and unscripted series as well as docu-series, documentary films, and multi-million pound feature productions.
Last year, the film American Factory, which the Obamas produced, took home the award for best documentary at the 92nd Oscars.
What TV shows have been confirmed for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Netflix partnership?
Meghan Markle is set to executive produce an animated series for Netflix called Pearl, the couple's foundation Archewell announced on July 14.
The series will chronicle a 'young girl's heroic adventure as she learns to step into her power and finds inspiration from influential women throughout history', a release said.
Also serving as producers alongside Meghan is David Furnish - the filmmaker husband of Sir Elton John, who is a friend of the Sussexes - documentary director Liz Garbus, producer Dan Cogan and Amanda Rynda.
'Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges. I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history. David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today,' Meghan said.
Furnish share a news report of the announcement on his Instagram page, saying both he and Meghan are 'passionate about bringing the inspirational and positive stories of extraordinary women from around the world to a global audience of all ages'.
Meghan and Harry became parents to a daughter, Lili, for the first time earlier this summer which is the second child for the couple who already have a son, Archie.
Heart of Invictus
On April 6, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first programme for Netflix was confirmed as a documentary series about the Invictus Games, which Prince Harry established in aid of wounded veterans in 2014.
The documentary, Heart of Invictus, will tell the human stories behind the athletes - who are all former service members - as they prepare for the next games, which will take place in The Hague in 2022.
The series will join competitors – all service members who’ve suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses – as they train for the next games in The Hague.
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) April 6, 2021
'Since the very first Invictus Games back in 2014, we knew that each competitor would contribute in their own exceptional way to a mosaic of resilience, determination, and resolve. This series will give communities around the world a window into the moving and uplifting stories of these competitors on their path to the Netherlands next year.
... I couldn’t be more excited for the journey ahead or prouder of the Invictus community for continuously inspiring global healing, human potential and continued service.
According to the outlet, Prince Harry will appear in the docu-series and executive produce it.
What will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Netflix shows be about?
Most of the partnership's subject matter is a mystery right now, but given what we know about the couple's interests and passions, we've selected some potential topic areas:
Conservation and the environment: Meghan's one foray into the entertainment industry over the past year was when she narrated the Disney Plus documentary Elephants, which followed a herd travelling down the Zambezi river and benefitted the organisation Elephants Without Borders. The couple had previously worked with the organisation during a visit to Botswana.
Mental health: The couple have spoken openly about the importance of positive mental health and Harry is working on a series about mental health with the couple's friend, Oprah Winfrey for Apple TV.
Social justice: Over the last few months in particular, the couple have spoken more and more about racism following increased support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd's death. Meghan has spoken about racial discrimination at length before - including about her own experiences in an essay on her biracial identity for ELLE magazine in 2015 - and has long been devoted to uplifting Black people and the anti-racism movement. Similarly, Meghan has identified gender equality as a hugely important issue to her, evident by her many engagements as a royal and her work before and after her time in the royal household.
Future leaders: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have consistently spoken of young people being the future we need for change and activism. They have worked with young people as part of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, Meghan has joined workshops for the One Young World summit which is all about preparing the leaders of tomorrow and, Harry has selected and awarded young recipients of the Diana Award - an accolade in honour of his late mother delivered to young people striving for change.
What else are Meghan Markle and Prince Harry up to?
Last June, it was revealed that the couple had signed to the same speaking agency as their friends Michelle and Barack Obama. Since leaving the White House, the 44th President and First Lady have also founded a production company, Higher Ground. So, if the Sussexes need any advice, they know who to call.
The royal couple also joined forces with Spotify to produce a podcast through their company, Archewell Audio, which will be about giving voices to inspirational people. It was recently confirmed that Prince Harry has also started working with two companies and initiatives, meanwhile the couple are still launching their own nonprofit organisation, Archewell - named in honour of their son.
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.
In need of more inspiration, thoughtful journalism and at-home beauty tips? Subscribe to ELLE's print magazine today! SUBSCRIBE HERE
You Might Also Like